Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crystal Castles (II), Crystal Castles

BEST OF 2010

If images are meant to mean anything... I was left to interpret the new Crystal Castles cover as a symbol for death. Perhaps, death of their old sound? And, the album is named the same as their first, Crystal Castles. Another way of saying 'we are starting over?' Or, just a shout out to Led Zeppelin?

Turns out Crystal Castles did not mean for any of what I interpreted to be true. The sound is still similar. The music still incredibly filled. The sound is less raw. The sudden shouts and frantic clatter of the first album is folded into a more produced and thicker sound. This is a not a bad thing.

The new album is most successful during songs four through six. 'Baptism' has a slow start beat that just drives through until the strong end. 'Year of Silence' samples a Sigur Ros song. The sample is thread through other sounds. A strange decoupage of sounds in the way only Crystal Castles can do successfully. And, finally, 'Empathy,' the best track on the album.

I can't imagine anyone finding fault in the new album or the slightly cleaned up sounds of this duo. They are still creating something very specifically their own without replicating what they've already done. This is no easy task these days.


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