Cut Copy’s latest bleepy bloopy synth fusion represents a lack of progress for the band, who have seemed to settle for what is a largely unforgettable musical style. Haiku From Zero is an unadventurous collection of songs which maintains a certain chirpy electronica sound without really making any statement at all. It gives the impression of a band still struggling to find their sound rather than an experienced collective releasing their sixth album.
The band attempt to integrate a more guitar heavy style than usual, and, as many electronic artists do, fuse different musical styles together. Bands who successfully achieve this balance delve into new modes of expressions, yet maintain a definitive original sound in the process.
Cut Copy have long integrated other artists into their work, much like other electronic acts. However, as with much of their previous music, Haiku From Zero struggles to establish a unique sound amongst their collection of influences. “Counting Down” and “Airborne” see the band experiment with some more traditional indie rock, ending up somewhere between Two Door Cinema Club and Arcade Fire.
Album opener “Standing In The Middle of The Field” goes back to their tried and tested synth pop, containing some pleasant harmonies and fusing a deep synth bass line with odd analog distortions. Similarly, “Memories We Share” and “Black Rainbows” succeed due to their adherence to Cut Copy’s synth heavy electronica, with less focus on guitar and traditional instrumentation than some of the album’s less memorable numbers.
Thematically, frontman Dan Whitford sings generically about romance and life with no real depth beyond this. But this is nothing new for Cut Copy, who have always been focused on the music rather than lyrics. However, musically Haiku From Zero lacks the oomph that brought them success with their catchiest single “Lights and Music,” and the album is a largely forgettable collection with no track really standing out amongst the rest. The record is simply not catchy enough to be classified as good pop, nor sufficiently experimental to be recognised as alternative. Instead it occupies a strange limbo, never really sure of what it wants to be, making for decent background music, but in truth nothing more.