“Loud speakers sound, white disco light,” goes the climactic chorus of “Pharaohs And Pyramids,” but Dan Whitford’s imprecise imagery isn’t needed: Cut Copy’s music successfully achieves synesthesia on its own throughout the Aussie quartet’s third full-length. With singer Whitford on the boards (taking over for DFA producer Tim Goldsworthy), each arpeggiator pattern, glow-worm guitar line, and percussive thump on Zonoscope bobs in the mix as a luxuriously distinct spot of sound. And rather than solely packing the lushness into radio-ready structures as it did on 2008’s In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy often lets the arrangements ride, most spectacularly on the six-minute round-and-round rave of the opener, “Need You Now.”
While the sonic landscape initially captures attention, the band’s pop maneuverings just as frequently stun. For example, the closer, “Sun God,” spools out to 15 minutes with a glimmering industrial-house instrumental, but its first five minutes transfix with a nimble sequencing of chorus and sub-chorus. On loose-limbed jaunts like “Where I’m Going” or “Take Me Over,” Cut Copy subverts accusations of cornball pastiche by stealing motifs, and at least one sample, from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Oingo Boingo and Toto, then turning out unexpectedly gorgeous results.