Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. With Crystal Castles’ infectious, eclectic music, this is easily one of the highlights of the year and a great addition to the super-genre that is electronic music.
  2. It's clear that Kath and Glass are already looking for more ways to expand on this familiar-sounding, edgy, innocent, menacing, bold, nuanced, and altogether striking debut.
  3. Glass’s voice, too, is the same that’s been luring lusty seamen onto the rocks for millennia, but the way it and the drums are textured--so that the machines they’re passed through sound like they’re melting away--brings Crystal Castles to the outer edges of greatness.
  4. Hotly tipped Canadian electro duo Crystal Castles deliver the goods on their debut album.
  5. Crystal Castles leaves its mark as an electro record that challenges, succeeding and failing all at once, and perhaps most important, never forgetting the primary goal of dance music.
  6. It is also, perhaps more importantly, an album absolutely overloaded with spine-tingling, pulse-quickening electro noises.
  7. 80
    The benchmark for 2008's best electronic record has been set. [July 2008, p.102]
  8. They don't stay in one place for too long, but the body of the album can be distilled to an essence of the glassy, ten-lane stare of Last Exit with Ed Banger's egg-frying EQ.
  9. Such blipping and beeping stay true to the pair's beginnings as an eight-bit band, but Crystal really pushes all the right buttons when factoring wistful melodies into its playful computer glitches. [21 Mar 2008, p.57]
  10. 70
    Kath's hooky charms ease the ferocity of singer Alice Glass' panting wails and loopy, sarcastic screams. [Apr 2008, p.94]
  11. 70
    Producer Ethan Fawn's dynamic overlays of crisp, factory-stomped melodic lines carry Glass's unintelligible lyrics straight to neon-lit nausea heaven.
  12. Lyrics? Hardly intelligible. But when the beats are this good, words barely matter anyway. [Spring 2008, p.88]
  13. Every song is serrated with pixel edges, and Alice Glass’ sometimes morose, sometimes lilting like a Valley girl vocals vibrate with such catchy and violent gloom that it’d send any human/marmoset/sentient being into an epileptic dance session.
  14. All told, it's pleasant to actually have a buzz album that lives up to expectations; long after people stop talking about them, this album will still be a surprising and compelling listen.
  15. If Crystal Castles has a weakness, it’s that many of the songs contained within have appeared previously on earlier singles, EPs and splits. Still, it’s hard to complain when the album draws so much strength from these songs, even if they are the exact same versions that early adopters have been wearing out on their turntables for years.
  16. Crystal Castles is gloriously danceable and hopelessly chic. But really, it's... hearing only...judging is... you know? [Apr 2008, p.162]
  17. 60
    What could be a kitschy nostalgia trip, however, becomes something more thanks to the songs themselves. [Apr 2008, p.94]
  18. Crystal Castles' most rockist moments seem to wish to appear arty by being as annoying as possible. It's a tricky maneuver, and the fact that the group doesn't quite pull it off screws up the coherence of this otherwise strong record, but that doesn’t make them any less promising.
  19. From the full-on Nintendo Wii panic-attack of 'Alice Practice' to the breezy, off-kilter electro-pop of 'Crimewave' and 'Air War', this sumptuously squelchy 16-track debut already feels like a Greatest Hits.
  20. At its best, it makes for exhilarating listening, as on 'Crimewave' and the bleep-funk soundclash that drives 'Air War' and the unexpectedly tender 'Courtship dating.' [June 2008, p.138]
  21. They finally hit a hipster-heavy scene with what should have been a maverick heat-seeker of a debut and end up too tiring to interest most of the hipsters who long ago became bored of swapping their “Alice Practice” 7” on Soulseek.
  22. Crystal Castles is definitely a fun listen just don’t expect something highly experimental or interesting.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. ThomasM.
    May 6, 2008
    Who cares if previously released stuff is compiled here and there is little new material? It's all friggin' awesome.
  2. Sep 26, 2012
    Took me awhile to discover this band, but it was completely worth the thrill of discovering them. I'm not the biggest fan of electronic music,Took me awhile to discover this band, but it was completely worth the thrill of discovering them. I'm not the biggest fan of electronic music, but Crystal Castles are unlike any electro band I've ever heard. I was completely blown away from this LP.It's a little over 50 minutes but it breezes by so smoothly and lush that you don't realize it's ended already. It's indie electroclash at it's finest. I'll go so far to say that I loved each track, which is a little rare for me. Some tracks are very abrasive (Alice Practice) and some are very lush and beautiful (Magic Spells). All In All, probably the best electronic album I've heard since Discovery by Daft Punk. A Full Review »
  3. Feb 21, 2013
    Still my favorite Crystal Castles album after two good follow up releases. Not as dark as the 2nd and 3rd albums, I'd go so far as to call itStill my favorite Crystal Castles album after two good follow up releases. Not as dark as the 2nd and 3rd albums, I'd go so far as to call it their pop record. Contains a good mix of their sound and by being more accessible it is the best place to start if checking out the band before getting into their darker sound. It contains the noise of Alice Practice, the synth-pop instrumentals of 1991 and Knights, the creepiness of Courtship Dating (which is further explored on later albums) and one of my favorites the delicate yet disturbing Tell me What to Swallow. Full Review »