Crystal Castles - (II)
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2010 Ratings: #281 / 879
Year End Rank: #48
User Score
Based on 456 ratings
2010 Ratings: #47
Liked by 4 people
April 23, 2010 / Release Date
LP / Format
Fiction, Lies, Last Gang / Label
Synthpop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
musicOMH
It’s a bold, dramatic, more than a little screwed-up and stunningly exciting statement. In short, it’s an album worth not having to wait an extra 30 days to hear. Or read about.
90
God Is in the TV
As a whole this record is less jagged than some of the older tracks, more consistent in it's quality but surprising in its variety, is that a bad thing? Listening again, side by side, all I can say for certain is that I don't know the new ones so well yet. Given the compulsive nature of what they've turned out this time round, that is bound to change anyway.
89
Billboard
Electronic duo Crystal Castles generally operates in two distinct modes.
85
Pitchfork
Crystal Castles return with a second self-titled album, embracing a more direct pop sound while retaining the sharp edges that made their debut so compelling.
85
Prefix
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.
84
Pretty Much Amazing
Crystal Castles show a lot of growth on this album; there’s less distortion and more fluid, coherent melodies.
80
PopMatters

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.

80
AllMusic

The second Crystal Castles may not be as immediate as their debut, but it shows that the band has more to offer than just a distinctive -- and confining -- sound.

80
Spin
By dispensing with empty bravado, Crystal Castles reveal a depressive, darkwave charisma.
80
The Skinny

Dropping a lot of the 8-bit influence from their shtick and integrating an almost choral sound to certain cuts ... Crystal Castles might just have found a way to elude their haters and continue on making dance music that many people would be piss scared to dance to.

80
NOW Magazine
The Toronto duo returns with an insanely great new album.
80
Spectrum Culture
The biggest difference is that this time around, the approach somehow seems less schizophrenic and more like natural changes in mood than chaotic shifts- Crystal Castles are still clearly testing their audience’s patience and boundaries, but it would appear to be for some higher purpose now.
79
Paste

CC 2 is a great entry point to the chemical burn of electronic music’s outer fringe.

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

Affectionately dubbed II by music writers, Crystal Castles’ second eponymous album revisits much of the same territory explored on their self-titled debut.

70
NME
Radio playlisted, exploring their spiritual side – have the digipunk pinups gone soft? No fear...
70
Resident Advisor

Surprisingly, it's actually super good in a sort of forgettable way.

70
FACT Magazine

Crystal Castles seem to really have a sense of progression with this.

70
Slant Magazine
They’ve moved on from huffing paint thinner to farting in your mouth while you are sleeping. The differences are subtle, but the key advance made is one of generosity.
70
The Needle Drop

Crystal Castles latest album isn't exactly a reinvention of the electronic duo. I can't say they've gone v2.0 on us. Maybe it's more like a v1.4. Many of the tracks sound similar to those on the first album, but the ones that don't are more than interesting.

60
Drowned in Sound

It’s pretty good, but as with any punks gone pro, Crystal Castles have lost something – attitude, fire, aggression, danger; the usual stuff.

60
The Guardian
The opening pairing of their second album suggests they mean to continue as they began, as the harshness of Fainting Spells gives way to Celestica, one of those swooning, melancholy European faux-classical melodies the Pet Shop Boys do so well.
43
Consequence of Sound

While some tracks muddle the four-beat pop standard through radical slow-downs and speed-ups and other sporadic behavior, other parts of Crystal Castles (II) are dulling and fail to inspire much.

40
Coke Machine Glow
Crystal Castles is the emperor’s new house band. They’re riding on enthusiasm and dance-cave savagery temperamental fits. Which is fine, but hopefully next time, they’ll make an album that holds together better, and doesn’t leave them naked.
MothaOfMotha12
56
𝓒 𝓐 𝓝 𝓒 𝓔 𝓛 𝓔 𝓓, 𝓟 𝓔 𝓡 𝓘 𝓞 𝓓. 𝓕𝓤𝓒𝓚 𝓒𝓡𝓨𝓢𝓣𝓐𝓛 𝓒𝓐𝓢𝓣𝓛𝓔𝓢 𝓤𝓦𝓤, 𝓘 𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔 𝓣𝓗𝓔𝓜 :))

𝐸𝑑𝑖𝑡: 𝑁𝑣𝑚, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦’𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑜𝑙 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑓𝑢𝑐𝑘 𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑐𝑘𝑠
KIDWITHGUNs
87
Amazing

[SJO Counter: 16]

I found myself enjoying this more than expected, this basically isn't on the same level as the first, but this is just as colourful and dynamic.
TheBravesDH
82
It's loud and it bangs. If it's good enough for Robert Smith to cosign, then it should be good enough for you.
Doofy
70
Has the frantic edge that I found to be missing from the follow up album.

That quality is a deal maker with this sort of style.

Why am I working through their discography in reverse (and very slowly?) I don’t know.
morningsbell
95
> when i say i want a goth gf i mean i want this album to demolish me

Granted this album might feel a bit more like a mixtape, I am in no ways supposing that just anyone would find it to be as amazing as it is in my view. For the longest time, I refused to give this album above the original 8.7/10 I assigned it, despite listening to this album very regularly. Maybe exposing myself to this album so much has made me somewhat attached to it, but I really do enjoy it so much to keep it in one ... read more
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Track List

  1. Fainting Spells 
  2. Celestica 
  3. Doe Deer 
  4. Baptism 
  5. Year of Silence 
  6. Empathy 
  7. Suffocation 
  8. Violent Dreams 
  9. Vietnam 
  10. Birds 
  11. Pap Smear 
  12. Not in Love
  13. Intimate 
  14. I Am Made of Chalk
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