Zedd reimagines electro with ‘Clarity’

Matthew Ahasay, Opinion Editor

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Released: October 9

Label: Interscope

After an extensive summer of touring festivals worldwide, a steady release of singles starting with the letter ‘s’ and multiple youtube leaks, 23 year old producer and DJ Anton Zaslavski (or Zedd) has finally released what is arguably the most anticipated electronic album of the year, Clarity.

In just three short years of being a DJ, Zedd has advanced the genre of electronic music. In the endless sea of repackaged singles as EP’s, Zedd took a chance and with painstaking perfection produced Clarity. Each snare, clap, and drop has been meticulously placed with intent and has breathed new life into electronic music. Anton has given it soul.

Three tracks stick out and define the album; “Clarity”, “Stache” and “Shave It Up”. While every track holds up in its own right, the weakest is “Lost at Sea”.

Despite almost every song being passable as a single, perhaps the most impressive part about Clarity is how it transitions flawlessly from track to track; so much so that listening to it out of order feels wrong.

The opening track “Hourglass” teases you into Clarity. Slow piano rolls combined with the rhythmic ticking of a clock wakes you up and eases you into the first drop of the album which when mixed with Liz’ vocals feels more like a tame alarm clock than a classic Zedd power-drop.

As “Hourglass” tapers off, Clarity transitions seamlessly into “Shave It Up”, a shortened and remastered version of Zedd’s first major hit, “Shave It.” Complimented by an orchestral strings section, “Shave it Up” is the perfect example of how Zedd had grown as an artist in only three years.

After warming up your ears for two tracks, Zedd decided to fire a warning shot with his latest single and club hit “Spectrum”. Despite how often it has been played, “Spectrum” has found its place as a crucial, complimentary piece in the Clarity puzzle.

As the album progresses, so does the quality of songs. The title track “Clarity” is the strongest and most emotional track featured. Through the slow buildup and the first drop, all the way to the last reverberating syllable, “Clarity” will have you singing along and dancing in your seat.

One of Zedd’s ‘s’ entitled singles, “Stache”, is exactly what you would expect from Zedd. With hard bass lines and saw toothed arpeggios, “Stache” will make you want to turn up the volume and search for Zedd’s next tour stop.

Clarity comes to a close with “Epos”. Epo is defined as, “A number of poems, not formally united that treat an epic theme.” It is a fitting name for the track that gradually lets the listener down from what is sure to be dubbed the first classic album in the most recent wave of electronic music.

Zedd’s Clarity without a doubt is the most adventurous and creative collection of work to come out of electronic music in a long time. The risk he took in assembling such a conceptually strong album was clearly worth it as Clarity topped the i-Tunes electronic charts and solidified Anton as a producer instead of a pigeon-holed DJ. Watch out for more artists to move in this direction as they follow in Zedd’s now massive footsteps.

4.5/5

Clarity can be purchased on beatport.com or in the i-Tunes store.

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