If we’re going by the Zedd school of EDM-making, here’s how every track should go: grab a vocalist (preferably female). Get them to sing about an abstract noun like memory or clarity. Keep a steady beat percolating in the back until your perfunctory vocal performance as finished. Then cue. That. Motherfucking. Drop.
Without fail, that’s pretty much how every song on True Colors goes. It’s hard to conceive that this man has a Grammy to his name (but we’re going to chalk that up to Foxes more than anything), as everything here is mainly derivative and overwrought with squelchy beats that could be in the background of any generic club scene on an E4 / CW show.
Zedd knows his audience and, like Calvin Harris, knows that they’ll be too immature and too out of it to realise he’s insulting their intelligence. That’s why Selena Gomez and Troye Sivan features pass without consequence and resolve to fit that EDM formula; Zedd is the audio form of a vlogger trying to awkwardly shoehorn in some (admittedly interesting) product placement while never relinquishing the spotlight.
There’s a sliver of respite in all the barbaric noise, and (we can’t quite believe we’re saying this) it comes from Kesha. A snarling vocal performance over the title track manages to overcome the short-changing she gets from her producer, and the first true glimpse of personality we get in this identikit mess. Those are her true colours bursting through, though, and they only serve to highlight that Zedd’s run a vomit-inducing shade of beige.
True Colors by Zedd can be ordered here. But really, it’s best not to encourage these things.