Friday, 3 July 2009

Review: The Crystal Method - Divided by Night

There is nothing better than pleasant surprises, especially when they come in the nick of a time. Such is the case with The Crystal Method's fourth proper studio album "Divided by Album", which is their first in five years. I dare say it grabbed me from the very first listen and enjoyed listening it till the very end. The Crystal Method might have never reached the popularity of The Chemical Brothers, but with with albums like their latest one, they do prove to be quite the competition.

"Divided by Night" sticks to the duo's tradition of extended guest appearances throughout the record both vocal or instrumental contributions. Eight out of twelve songs contain guest vocals, which virtually makes this album their least instrumentally dependent. The big number of collaboration give an additional asset to the final product and only prove for the complexity and maturity The Crystal Method have striven to demonstrate. Nevertheless, "Divided by Night" is not your another The Chemical Brothers' album squeezed to its maximum for the sake of commercial success and potential chart-breakers. Don't get me wrong, I like the Brothers a lot, but The Crystal Method happen to be still on track with the actual meaning of making music and care to be less over the top and electronically snobby.

Still fusing as many genres as possible, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland keep up to their own standards with a few intriguing improvements. Improvements that make their music more accessible without the blunt taste of selling-out. Stylistically "Divided by Night" has little to do with their genuine big-beat sound, which is another indicator that the whole genre is heading down the spiral to oblivion. In the times of such a high diversity of electronic styles sticking to the good old beats and turntables equals almost suicide and with their latest release The Crystal Method put the knives away from their wrists. Of course, "Divided by Night" could have had some more surprises in store and be even more outstanding and dancefloor-crashing, but let's be honest The Crystal Method have never been your club regulars. If you don't know/remember why grab the new album and divide your night with a few original tunes.

Songs to hear: "Divided by Night", "Drown in the Now", "Sine Language", "Double Down Under" and "Black Rainbows"

Rating: 8/10