Once considered someone who merely spins other people’s music, the DJ has evolved to become a staple part of the contemporary mainstream music scene, with many hits being crafted by the disc jockeys themselves. And while a number of DJs have lived in the shadows of the success of their songs and featured artists, Zedd has managed to carve out a name of his own, keeping relevant with the times, and competing on the charts as an artist himself. With the release of his sophomore album True Colors, out May 18th, Zedd continues to build his empire, by presenting a body of work that reflects the fusion of EDM and pop music.
True Colors lives up to its name, as a vibrant and colourful album, with literal bells and whistles garnished throughout all eleven tracks on the record. The album retains the strong points of Zedd’s debut album Clarity, and it manages to both maintain his signature style, while giving each song its own flare, separate from the rest. True Colors comes packed with music made for a number of different occasions, attesting to Zedd’s range and adaptability. New single, Beautiful Now, evokes a sense of optimism and possibility, and standout track Straight Into The Fire speaks of revival and reinvention; both packaged as EDM gems meant to one day dominate the radio. On the other end of the spectrum, the stadium-ready Bumble Bee comes just in time for Zedd’s recently announced summer tour, and the rap-featured Transmission shows a grittier side of the DJ that fans of Stay The Night might not be familiar with.
Zedd’s strength lies in his ability to produce tracks tailored towards the enlisted vocalists, creating a well-defined tone and identity to each individual song. It is in this way that Zedd is able to maintain his own signature sound, while simultaneously creating the variance that is found on True Colors. While Selena Gomez may not be renown as a vocalist, on lead single, I Want You To Know, Zedd keeps her right in her musical sweet spot, and the supporting track accentuates her voice, showcasing her capability as a competent recording artist. The production on Papercut is minimalistic, and combined with the clean vocals of Troye Sivan, creates a track that is both ambient and pulsating, an interesting vibe that can both draw you in and catch you in a trance at the same time.
It’s a little cheesy to compare True Colors to a rainbow, but in a sense it is perfect way to describe it. Each song on the album is made with production that effectively matches the individual mood, giving each track its own distinct qualities. But when listened to as a whole, the overarching sound of True Colors is witnessed, and the end result is an album that presents its artistry through its diversity. The best part about True Colors is that through the elevation of the voices featured on the record, it’s Zedd’s craftsmanship that is what shines, as it is truly what brings the whole album together.
Standout Tracks: Done With Love, Papercut, and Daisy
Potential Radio Singles: Straight Into The Fire, and Illusion