Album Review: Zedd – “Clarity”

German dance producer Zedd released his debut album, Clarity, on October 2, 2012.

My husband and I first heard about Zedd when we were hearing “Spectrum” on KNHC 89.5 FM in Seattle, Washington. After hearing the song, “Clarity,” my husband decided to take a chance and purchase the Clarity album, since we really liked both of the singles that we had heard from the album. After my husband and I listened to Clarity, we were not disappointed by what we had heard.

The album opens with “Hourglass,” which features vocals by LIZ. This midtempo track utilizes sound effects well to fit in with the theme of the song, and LIZ provides a very strong vocal performance that complements the sound of the song.

“Shave It Up” was released as the first single from Clarity, and this instrumental track is an uptempo track that’s very friendly for the dance clubs. One of the things that really stood out to me was the strings appearing during the break; I thought this was a really good touch to add to this song.

Next is “Spectrum,” a song featuring vocals by Matthew Koma. This was released as the second single from Clarity, and it’s one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s a danceable song with lyrics that tell a rather simple love story.

“Lost At Sea” features vocals by Ryan Tedder, the frontman for OneRepublic. Tedder’s vocal delivery works really well for this mistempo track, and I thought the falsetto he has when he sings the word “sea” adds a nice touch to the song.

The title song was released as the fourth single from the album, and it’s another song from this album that I really like. It features vocals by Foxes; one of the most striking aspects of this song is the intensity of Foxes’ vocal performance. When I listen to this song, I can believe that Foxes is using a lot of honest emotion with her vocal performance.

Next is “Codec,” and it’s the longest track on the album. This instrumental really picks the tempo back up after “Clarity,” and it uses a much heavier bassline in comparison to all of the other songs on Clarity. It’s a great track for the dance clubs, but I thought it was a little on the long side for someone sitting and listening to the album at home. While it’s a good song, I think it would have been stronger if it had been just a little bit shorter.

“Stache” was released as the third single from Clarity, and it’s another instrumental track. When I listen to this song, the bassline almost sounds like it came out of an 8-bit videogame.

Next is “Fall Into the Sky,” which features vocals by Ellie Goulding. Goulding turns in a good vocal performance, but I wish she had more words to sing for this track. The only vocals for this track are the same few lines that show up throughout the song’s nearly four minute long runtime.

“Follow You Down” features vocals by Bright Lights, and it’s closest thing to a ballad that Clarity has to offer. The album closes with “Epos,” which is a midtempo instrumental track.

Clarity provides a good mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks, and the songs flow together rather smoothly to make the album sound rather cohesive. In fact, I would go so far to say that Clarity is one of the best dance albums that I’ve personally heard in a while.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Clarity that my husband and I purchased.

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