Cut Copy Haiku From Zero
The reliability of Cut Copy albums mirrors that of Star Trek films: The even-numbered ones are the keepers; the odd-numbered ones, not so much. The Aussie quartet rightly rose the music-festival ranks with 2008’s sophomore release In Ghost Colours, wavered with 2011’s inconsistent Zonoscope, and then knocked 2013’s Free Your Mind out of the park—which means we’re due for another ho-hum collection. Enter Haiku From Zero: not a bad record, but certainly an underwhelming one.
Cut Copy’s biggest problem has been derivation, but here, it’s the songwriting. Opener “Standing in the Middle of the Field” establishes an alluring groove and Latin tech-pop vibe, but the melodies can’t seal the deal. “Black Rainbows” also barrels down the runway with similar promise, but neither verse nor chorus achieve liftoff, establishing a troublesome pattern. Only a few numbers on Haiku re-create the band’s trademark rhythmic abandon, like the hook-blessed disco throwback “Counting Down” and shimmery, funk-lite “Living Upside Down.” Otherwise, Cut Copy’s success in crafting transporting instrumentation is undermined when its songs don’t find their intended destinations.