Friday, December 31, 2010


Does a contemporary act exist that marries electronica's signature technological elements with a straight-up, old-fashioned singles mentality better than Crystal Castles?

If so, please let me know, because I have yet to hear them.

Following their excellent, similarly self-titled 2008 debut, Crystal Castles 2010 offers up the same efficient, conceptually clear-eyed mix of "in your face" screechers (Fainting Spells), gentle soothers (Celistica), bad ass rockers (Birds), oddball curves (Vietnam), and irresistible electo-pop nuggets (most of the rest).

As in 2008, clever samples abound (check out how well Jonsi is sampled in Year Of Silence), Alice Glass's vocals are heavily manipulated, and the average song quality is quite high.

The only significant stylistic deviation between the releases is that those "Space Invaders" Atari 2600 processor sounds that dominated the debut are here relegated to just a couple of tracks.

But otherwise, Crystal Castles 2010 is "the same but different" in the very best sense of the phrase.

So if you are looking to discover one of today's most interesting and accessible electronica acts, look no farther than Crystal Castles 2010.

Status: Strong Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Celestica, Doe Deer, Vietnam, Birds.

Here's the official video for Celestica.

Component Breakdown:
1. Fainting Spells - 8
2. Celestica - 9
3. Doe Deer - 8
4. Baptism - 8
5. Year Of Silence - 8
6. Empathy - 7
7. Suffocation - 8
8. Violent Dreams - 6
9. Vietnam - 9
10. Birds - 9
11. Pap Smear - 8
12. Not In Love - 7
13. Intimate - 8
14. I Am Made Of Chalk - 7
Intangibles - Average

What are your impressions of Crystal Castles 2010.  Let readers know with a comment

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