Zedd’s Debut Album – “Clarity”
Zedd just released his first album “Clarity” yesterday and has already scooped the number one spot on the iTunes Dance chart. “Clarity” has already surpassed deadmau5’s “>album title goes here<”, David Guetta’s “Nothing But the Beat”, Skrillex’s “Bangarang”, and Knife Party’s “Rage Valley”.
Zedd has proven his versatility as an EDM artist with tracks such as “Spectrum” and “Shotgun”. His wide range of sounds really established him as an open-minded producer with very few boundaries. Although Zedd may not be nearly as popular as Skrillex, deadmau5, David Guetta, and Knife Party, Zedd certainly has made a huge statement with the relase of “Clarity”.
“Clarity” is a full length album released under Interscope Records and features collaborations with artists such as Lucky Date, Ellie Goulding, Bright Lights, Matthew Koma, and Ryan Tedder.
“Clarity” features eight brand new tracks that paint Zedd’s identity as an EDM artist.
When listening to “Clarity” as a whole, four tracks really stood out above the rest and define Zedd’s debut album “Clarity”.
1. “Shave It Up”
Although “Shave It Up” samples Zedd’s previously released “Shave It” its redesigned in a much more melodic manner. “Shave It Up” really stood out to me for its highly complex nature. The layering of sounds and the detail within the track is absolutely astonishing. Although to an average listener, a nasally synth is all that he/she may hear, any moderately trained ear can hear the amount of precision that really went into composing the track.
At 2:33 within “Shave It Up”, Zedd drowns out the dance beat and dives into an outro with an orchestration that reveals the underlying melody that creates “Shave It Up”. It’s a daring move for Zedd to shy away from the heavy hitting dance beat at the outro of the song but it certainly pays off as the “Shave It Up” gives us a glimpse of Zedd’s ability as a composer.
2. “Spectrum” featuring Matthew Koma
“Spectrum” is not a brand new track and was released this past summer. “Spectrum” instantly became a huge hit within the EDM community. It was immediately remixed by top tier artists and seized the hollistic attention of the EDM community without any warning. Although “Spec
trum” may be played out at this point to EDM enthusiasts, it’s beauty as a musical piece is still undeniable.
The soft but powerful vocals of Matthew Koma blend effortlessly with the deep synths, creating the melody. “Spectrum” lifts the spirit and evokes strong emotions from deep within even the most disconnected souls. Although the verses of “Spectrum” create tension within the track, this tension builds towards the monumental chorus, which frees the mind and spirit.
“Codec” is the first track of “Clarity” that vibes with the complextro flavor that many associate with Zedd. Some associate Zedd with complex electro house after hearing his previous hits such as “Slam The Door”, “Break’n A Sweat” remix, and “Shotgun”. It’s great to see that Zedd hasn’t completely abandoned his darker and highly detailed style of production that many fell in love with.
“Codec” is still lighter than the darker tr
acks Zedd has produced in the past but is one of the heaviest tracks in “Clarity” with its choppy bass line and heavy usage of talking bass. “Codec” was a pleasant surprise mid way through the album as every song before it is lined with vocals that take the focus away from the non-vocal instrumentation.
4. “Fall Into the Sky” featuring Ellie Goulding
Towards the end of the album, Ellie Goulding’s unmistakable vocals immediately caught my attention which were layered with the a soulful piano intro. Like “Spectrum”, “Fall Into the Sky” is another track by Zedd that is overflowing with precise detail. It’s so detailed that listening to the track on repeat made me identify new sounds every time.
The funky bass drop really stirs things up and makes you just want to get up and rock out. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my desk listening to a track and then suddenly experience an insatiable urge to get loose. “Fall Into the Sky” is one of those tracks that evoke that exact emotion. Although the track is more two tone that the other tracks from “Clarity” that really stood out to me, its obvious that Zedd strived to create the two-step style energy and vibe with “Fall Into the Sky”.
All in all, “Clarity” is a very impressive debut album; it could well be the most impressive debut EDM album. Zedd definitely shied away from the heavier complextro style of production that most are familiar with and added a lot of vocals into the mix. The addition of vocals helps “Clarity” appeal to a wider range of listeners but thankfully Zedd didn’t forget about his complextro roots.
“Clarity” functions as an extension of “Spectrum” as it clarifies that Zedd is in fact a highly versatile producer, with the ability to produce beautiful pieces with a wide range a sounds.
Although Zedd aims to appeal to a wider and broader audience with “Clarity” you can’t even start to call him a “sell out” or “mainstream” because every single track within “Clarity” still bleeds with the highly complex nature of Zedd’s style.
I had hoped for Zedd to have a grungier and darker album, but Zedd really put the melodic nature of music back into EDM with “Clarity”. In a time where the majority of the world regards EDM as noise with little substance, Zedd further developed his identity while showing the world how musically beautiful EDM could be.
Keep an eye out for Zedd, soon enough he’ll be closing some of the largest EDM events worldwide. Mark my words, Zedd is going to have a massive career.
Enjoy the rest of “Clarity” below and grab this must-have album on iTunes!
Zedd – “Clarity” Tracklist:
01. Zedd – Hourglass (ft. LIZ) [5:13]
02. Zedd – Shave It Up [3:10]
03. Zedd – Spectrum (ft. Matthew Koma) [4:03]
04. Zedd – Lost At Sea (ft. Ryan Tedder) [3:45]
05. Zedd – Clarity (ft. Foxes) [4:31]
06. Zedd – Codec [6:01]
07. Zedd – Stache [4:04]
08. Zedd & Lucky Date – Fall Into The Sky (ft. Ellie Goulding) [3:37]
09. Zedd – Follow You Down (ft. Bright Lights) [5:47]
10. Zedd – Epos [5:36]
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