EP Review: ‘iTunes Session’ by Zedd

Russian-German electro-producer and DJ Zedd became an overnight sensation in the States after the release of his single “Clarity,” featuring Foxes, which eventually became the title of his first full album release in early 2012, as well. Fast forward one year and Zedd is seeing extended success through a deluxe release of his hit “Clarity” album and a brand new single featuring Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams, though one of the greatest treats he has ever put out might just come in the form of an iTunes-exclusive session piece up for download as of November 19. For the release, Zedd has brought together an eclectic mix of featured artists to make for a compelling new release that is in great need of the publicity it deserves.

In place of his trademark DJ skills being placed on full display this time around, Zedd has instead opted for live instrumentation to take on a special collection of tracks initially made famous through the release of his album “Clarity.” This henceforth offers up a new sound and direction to these songs that has never quite been taken before in terms of purchasable releases. For existing fans of the young DJ, this will open up a whole new side of his masterclass work to them, whereas those who just may not intrinsically be the greatest fans of electronic music will finally be able to hear his work for the profound compositions that they truly are. Along for the ride are artists fans of “Clarity” should be familiar enough with by now- Matthew Koma delights on acoustic versions of “Spectrum” and the titular “Clarity” (the latter of which is also performed with the impeccable Foxes), while Hayley Williams generously lends her striking voice to a compelling piano version of “Stay the Night” and Miriam Bryant highlights a courageous rock rendition of “Push Play”.

The real treats, however, come from the totally unexpected. Bryant also covers a compelling version of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” on the album, predating her electrifying live performance of “Push Play”, while American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez covers for LIZ on a live version of “Hourglass”. Sanchez’s vocals are as gorgeous as ever, offering several layers of depth to the slowed-down, haunting arrangement, easily becoming the highlight of the entire iTunes session right as it comes to a close. It’s good to see someone as high-profile as Zedd giving Sanchez the chance she deserves to get her name out there as, as #blujays would passionately profess, she most certainly deserves it.

Rating: 5/5

Through his iTunes session, Zedd has allowed his songs to become more accessible than ever before. When given the ability to create a sparse acoustic treatment or one with some rocking electric guitar, he proves that he can be just as masterful a composer as he would be behind the deck. Zedd is one of the leading DJs of our generation and deservedly so, and those who he brings with him along the way are equally as lucky as they are incredibly talented. With a diverse pool of great featured artists mixed with a healthy twist on new age classics for the pop-loving community, Zedd has provided some of the best iTunes session recordings to date.

You can purchase Zedd’s iTunes Session right here and now for just $4.99. Also make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest if you’re a fan!

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