The most difficult thing about releasing a near-perfect album has to be the follow-up. People flipped when Cut Copy dropped 2008's In Ghost Colours
, which saw the Aussie dance trio ramping up the formula of their debut LP with unrelenting momentum, strobe-light synths, and a shitload of robot voices. There's no way they were going to top the soaring highs of that release, so it's not all that confounding that they opted to rein it back for Zonoscope
— an organic album created with minimal electronic wizardry that could be re-created in a live arena without having to tote around a Yanni-sized synth rig. And a couple of songs here nail that "delicate anthem" motif, notably "Need You Now" and "Take Me Over." Unfortunately, those are the first two songs, and the album deteriorates from there. The mostly unintelligible meandering means that the peaks never pop off as naturally as on previous efforts; instead, we crash into a manufactured wall of whoosh. An inkling of redemption rears itself around the six-minute mark of "Sun God," their attempt at an epic closer. The contrived sheen marring much of the album dissolves, and things get industrial real quick. That dark and uncharted — for Cut Copy — territory might be the way to go heading forward.