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Dance - Released May 18, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released January 1, 2014 | Interscope

In the span of a few years, Anton Zaslavski was inspired by Justice to make electronic dance music, reached out to Skrillex and remixed "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," became an in-demand producer of remixes and original material, and signed to mainstream label Interscope. His remixes for the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga, combined with production for Justin Bieber's Believe and singles like "The Anthem," "Shave It," and "Spectrum," made the German musician, still in his early twenties, a rising star in EDM and pop. Zaslavski's rapid ascent says more about his talent and creativity than the lack of skill and imagination required to make dance music. He was the drummer in a metalcore band, but he has definitely found his calling here. Clarity's lone pre-Interscope track is "Shave It," retitled "Shave It Up," made more musical with an all-strings coda, and yet shortened to a brisk 3:11. The song's grand and extended conclusion makes an early-in-the-album statement, however ostentatious, that Zaslavski can compose circles around the majority of EDM producers and do so in a concise fashion. He also knows how to construct an album. This plays out like it was developed and arranged for the sake of repeated listening rather than a quick fix for listeners in need of a rush. That said, there are plenty of peak moments that reflect the immediacy and desperation of adolescent relationships, like the stadium-ready title song (featuring Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes) and the fully developed modern pop of "Spectrum" (fronted in a boyish, bright-eyed manner by Matthew Koma). The instrumentals tend to be relatively restrained, but most of them are more attractive than the songs featuring big-name vocalists Ryan Tedder and Ellie Goulding. Zaslavski's not quite in a field of his own yet. "Stache" shamelessly displays the producer's indebtedness to key Justice influence Daft Punk -- it might as well be subtitled "Aerodynamic 2K12" -- but he's getting there. Anyone who appreciates well-crafted dance-pop should probably keep up with him. ~ Andy Kellman
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Dance - Released January 1, 2014 | Interscope

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Dance - Released January 1, 2012 | Interscope

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Dance - Released September 23, 2016 | Interscope

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Dance - Released January 1, 2012 | Interscope

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Dance - Released September 2, 2016 | Interscope

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Dance - Released April 29, 2016 | Interscope

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Dance - Released November 4, 2016 | Interscope

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Dance - Released July 10, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released May 29, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released January 1, 2013 | Interscope

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Dance - Released December 9, 2016 | Interscope

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Dance - Released October 2, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released September 11, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released August 14, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released July 10, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released June 16, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released June 16, 2015 | Interscope

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Dance - Released May 19, 2015 | Interscope

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