Song 292: Cut Copy, “Need You Now” (2011)


Repetition has its place. It can be infuriating—x, I’m looking at you—but in some cases, repetition brings with it the panicky urgency that only romance can provide. Take, for example, “Need You Now,” a piece of synth-pop so insistent, so unforgiving, that it basically forces its way into your brain. (And it stays there, you’ll notice, for a few days.)

Cut Copy has always catered in this kind of music, but Zonoscope marked the point where the band decided to make their songs as catchy as possible. Well, maybe I should pull back a bit: I have no idea whether that was a conscious decision, or if the band even thinks of the record that way. But that’s how it sounds to me.

“Need You Now” is the rare song in which the chorus is quieter and calmer than everything else. This doesn’t always work, but in “Need You Now,” it works wonders. When he sings the title phrase, Dan Whitford sounds like he’s trying to calm the music down so he can get his point across.

I love the song’s video, too. Maybe it’s just the novelty of seeing a guy in a baseball uniform with a bowling ball (and various athletes with battleaxes), but I think it’s a good match for this song. It’s as if Cut Copy has enlisted all of these athletes and asked them to try every feat of physical endurance, in case any of them worked. After all, they need you. Now.


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