Zedd finds his identity on ‘True Colors’ [Album Review]
At the intersection of mainstream music and electronic music lies 25-year-old Anton Zaslavski. His journey began by winning two Beatport remix contests and has crescendoed with his latest full length album, True Colors. From blistering cuts on OWSLA early in his career to co-producing an original for Justin Bieber, Zedd‘s new album combines what kick-started his career with the pop star he’s become.
“Addicted To Memory” not only serves as the album’s first track, but also as a microcosm of the entire LP. Laden with radio-ready characteristics, the single quickly dives into one of Zedd’s eccentric basslines. Dancing between his roots and his modern form, “Addicted To Memory” welcomes the project to fruition with an emphatic punch. Whereas later originals on the album rely solely on instrumentals, the first single on True Colors feels primed for main stages around the globe.
The next three cuts see Zedd flexing his pop muscles. With Selena Gomez, Jon Bellion, Logic, and the X Ambassadors all joining the Russian producer on “I Want You To Know, “Beautiful Now” and “Transmission.” The three most radio-ready productions on the album, old fans may find themselves pressing skip, but the heavy pop stylings are sure to please his post-“Clarity” fans. Each production is tackled with poise — in the span of three singles, Zedd proves that his debut album was no fluke.
The rest of the album proceeds in much the same way. Julia Michaels, Troye Sivan, and Echosmith all arrive with adequate vocal contributions but nothing memorable pops up in the second half save for “Daisy” and “Bumble Bee.” The latter ditches a vocal contributor for Canadian duo Botnek, who help Anton craft the most energetic track on his sophomore album. It’s Zedd’s only festival-focused record on the LP and a refreshing reminder of his “Shave It Up”-era productions. “Daisy” should have been the final track, swapping places with “Illusion” as a proper send off to his sophomore offering. A wonderfully dramatic pop record, “Daisy” gives off a “Clarity 2.0” vibe, framed by bright vocals and a just-barely-electronic instrumental that’s more indie than dance.
While True Colors may be the project’s official title, Zedd’s second LP serves as an example of his own artistic struggle. It’s not difficult to listen to by any stretch, but Anton’s new found pop credentials and his early work collide more than ever here. It serves as an above average pop EDM project, but early fans will find less of the Zedd they know on True Colors. It delivers in more places than one, it may not command repeat listens, but True Colors serves to make a statement: this is the new Zedd — like it or not.