Music

[Electronic]

The Crystal Method

Divided By Night

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The Crystal Method’s Divided By Night
Annie Zaleski

Like peer DJ duo teams such as The Chemical Brothers and Simian Mobile Disco, The Crystal Method has always been successful at merging electronic and rock music. Credit the onetime Las Vegans’ ability to sculpt fat techno beats, breezy ambient space and vocal cameos into cohesive songs that transcend their eau de Jock Jams. This perhaps explains why “Busy Child,” “Trip Like I Do” and “Name of the Game” became radio hits—and why the duo’s new artist album, Divided by Night, ultimately succeeds.

The Details

The Crystal Method
Divided By Night
Three and a half stars
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Night stumbles initially with the title song, a five-minute track full of haywire squelches and robotic vocals, and “Dirty Thirty,” a generic techno whirl-a-gig featuring an inimitable bassline from New Order’s Peter Hook. Both of these mostly instrumental tunes feel horribly dated, like airless takes on The Crystal Method’s late-’90s output.

Night improves, however, when it breaks out the guest vocalists. She Wants Revenge’s Justin Warfield sounds like a reanimated corpse on the gothy new-wave kick “Kling to the Wreckage,” while Metric’s Emily Haines sounds sinister on the blooping synth-pop whisper “Come Back Clean.” The BT-like “Slipstream” and “Falling Hard” are even better; the former features a funk-guitar lick and buttery vocals from Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, while the latter is a dreamy, piano-laden piece with Björk-like coos from Meiko. Heck, even LMFAO’s hipster-hop sounds tolerable when paired with dinosaur-sized stompy rhythms and gigantic keyboard sine-waves on (appropriately) “Sine Language.” It’s this marriage of extremes and willingness to go beyond what’s expected that makes The Crystal Method endure—and hit the mark with Night.

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