Crystal Castles [2010]

  • Record Label: Fiction
  • Release Date: Jun 8, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The second Crystal Castles may not be as immediately and consistently satisfying as their debut, but it shows that the band has more to offer than just an immediately distinctive--and confining--sound.
  2. They’ve made a bigger, denser, more accessible record but in so doing, have not lost sight of their strengths—rather, those strengths now shine through even more clearly.
  3. As rewarding as this new album is, it's even more impressive when you consider its context: Crystal Castles may have come on at the tail-end of the blog-house/nu-rave/French-touch mini-rage, but they've now transcended it, moving from scene linchpin to indie stars.
  4. Uncut
    Kath's basic approach to synth-pop means most tracks adhere to a glitchy arpeggiated formula that resembles a Faithless record, but with added indie weirdness. [Jul 2010, p.104]
  5. Q Magazine
    The follow-up repeats the trick, scattering dreamy pop between industrial soundscapes. [July 2010, p. 129]
  6. It’s a late resolution; like their debut, Crystal Castles feels long; not too long for comfort but too long for coherence.
  7. Fortunately the lack of ambition displayed during the album-naming sessions doesn't correspond to this work's contents. It's a bold, dramatic, more than a little screwed-up and stunningly exciting statement.
  8. The music is dynamic, danceable and largely based around swelling arpeggios of stabbing synths, but it remains resolutely cold, major keys avoided.
  9. This album feels a little stranded, not quite pulling off the icy, slightly scary pop one suspects is the intention--good enough, but no Ladytron or the Knife.
  10. 80
    Two years later, our Canadian antiheroes return with something deeper than digital histrionics and crazily infectious beats.
  11. The relative calming of Crystal Castles’ seas on CC 2, while maintaining the duo’s penchant for unsettling zombie vocals and harsh static beats, ultimately makes for a more immersive listen.
  12. Obstinate, prickly, and elusive as ever, Crystal Castles seem poised for more of the reckless aggression they've become known for.
  13. The superior but occasionally milquetoast Crystal Castles: Book Two inadvertently underscores the pitfalls of maturity and liberation.
  14. The group's bleak, sinister quality has always been one of its best assets, and in humanizing themselves, even in the record's shinier latter half, the musicians take on a slightly stronger shadow.
  15. Still, it’s a largely terrific return that retains all of the weirdness and edge of their debut but allows the tunes to win through at the expense of unnecessary glitch and red-raw distortion.
  16. 82
    So until the radio stations get it right..make of the wicked what you will. Ferocity will never feel so fuzzy, nor fear so inviting. [Spring/Summer 2010, p.104]
  17. It’s a middling album that managed to get the best of collective consciousness.
  18. Mr. Kath imbues the album with a touch of continuity--surely not the easiest task, given tracks like “Doe Deer,” a corrosive blast of mania, and “Fainting Spells,” which declares its own intended side effect.
  19. A long 14 tracks, it's fairly unfocused and though the pair have done enough to prove that they're not just out to annoy, there is still something fundamentally unsatisfying going on here.
  20. They haven’t wholly lost their antagonism--the brutal “Doe Deer” is arabesque computer punk. But the second round of “Crystal Castles” pulls an even better trick than the first one: It proves the band can upend expectations and turn in a long career yet.
  21. 80
    It’s a strong, deliberate album that is both unsettling and riveting, and absolutely convincing in asserting Crystal Castles’ relevance, and talent.
  22. Having put aside the gimmicky Atari-melting antics of yore, the Castles have created a dense-yet-airy thicket of pure pop transcendence.
  23. Two years and an overabundance of hype later, producer Ethan Kath and singer Alice Glass return with another self-titled set that corrects all of their debut's miscues and remains eye-popping from beginning to end.
  24. The sequel is a graceful transition into more polished product with an emphasis on detail and melody-all while retaining the visceral screech of the debut.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Dec 28, 2011
    smoke weed everyday
  2. Dec 22, 2011
    "Crystal Castles II" recorre una amplia gama de ritmos que van desde los ritmos sosegados y espaciales como "Violent Dreams" o "I Am Made of"Crystal Castles II" recorre una amplia gama de ritmos que van desde los ritmos sosegados y espaciales como "Violent Dreams" o "I Am Made of Chalk", tonalidades rítmicas y bailables ( "Celestica" , "Suffocation" o "Intimate") y llega hasta los extremos donde la distorción (Lo-fi) se remarcan y le añaden dramatismo al album ("Fainting Spells" o "Doe Deer"). Crystal Castles logra un álbum innovador de música electrónica con una temática muy oscura que puede volverse adicción en cualquier momento. Full Review »
  3. Oct 3, 2012
    Crystal Castles sophomore effort is far from a slump. They take what made their first album so great, and add a polished, refined sound, butCrystal Castles sophomore effort is far from a slump. They take what made their first album so great, and add a polished, refined sound, but still manage to have that lo-fi, edgy sonic noise that only they can make. Do I prefer this album over their first? No. Is it a good album? Absolutely. All In All, Crystal Castles have yet to make a bad album. B+ Full Review »