True Colors

by: Zedd

In between his 2012 debut album Clarity and this sophomore release, dance music producer Anton Zaslavski, aka Zedd, went from a mere EDM superstar to tabloid fodder thanks to a brief relationship with Selena Gomez. Sounding not at all shaken by it, his 2015 album True Colors is further proof that he's the most level-headed DJ ever to headline a festival. This crafted and cool LP repeats most of what was good with his debut, plus it is confident enough to have exes over, as Gomez appears on the highlight and single "I Want You to Know" belting out romantic words co-written by Ryan Tedder ("I want you to know, that I'm all yours/You and me run the same course"). "Done with Love" featuring Jacob Luttrell is the obvious post-relationship number included here, with the bass-drops being heavier than the heartache, but the wistful and subtle "Papercuts" with Troye Sivan is an even better choice, as Zedd surrounds this ode to disappointment with swirling melodies and shuffling house beats. Tracks come and go like on a pop album, with only a handful of numbers passing the five-minute mark, and yet, the production is in line with the EDM aesthetic, as the stuttering, the stopping, and the twisting comes from club culture and not mainstream radio. Odd that "Beautiful Now" goes from horny ("I see what you're wearing/There's nothing beneath it") to Maroon 5-esque (the cloying "ba, ba, ba-ba, bah!" chorus), but otherwise the slick and skillful True Colors is built for fans of Zedd's music rather than his social media followers. ~ David Jeffries

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