Fresh from a year-long sprint of fantastic single release after single release (all starting with the letter "s"), Zedd has taken an incredibly ambitious step in releasing his debut album Clarity. After a few thorough listens, I think it's safe to say Zedd has changed the game with this release. If any artist was versatile enough to pull off such a diverse amount of content without it becoming tiresome and unoriginal, it is without a doubt Zedd. The most impressive thing about this album is the fact that every song has such distinct and adventurous characteristics to it.
Take for example the song the album gets its namesake from: "Clarity". This collaboration with the singer Foxes is absolutely gorgeous, and the most sensational thing about it is right when you expect to drop into a signature Zedd complextro pattern, it becomes a beautiful choral piece with slight electro undertones. Hands down the best song on the album.
Another huge standout is a collaboration with Bright Lights, "Follow You Down". This song really shows Zedd's versatility by attempting a plucky, Deadmau5-style house song. Breathing new life into a style of progressive house that has really become overdone and generic, Zedd reinvigorates it with a moving and beautiful take on a style that recently become predictable.
Continuing his zest for songs that start with the letter "S," "Stache" is also a big standout on Clarity. It keeps Zedd's classic funky, electro breakdown aside chords and elements of classic French house artists reminiscent of Justice. This fast-moving fresh take on tech house mixed in with a little bit of 303 makes for another very unique track.
Although the album is not perfect (the collaboration with Ryan Tedder entitled "Lost At Sea" is a notable weak spot) Zedd does correctly what a lot of other artists have done wrong on their first full album. He proves his creativity through the ability to bring something fresh to every song. The 23-year-old shows his maturity through production that feels like an album rather than a compilation of a few great, good, and okay songs. In order to captivate a listener for such a long amount of time, one must be able to rewrite and challenge processes. Zedd does exactly that through creating an experience and telling a story to his listeners.