Crystal Castles (2010 album)

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Crystal Castles (II)
Studio album by Crystal Castles
Released 23 April 2010
Genre Experimental,[1] noise,[2] synthpop, dream pop, synthpunk
Length 52:54
Label Fiction
Producer Ethan Kath, Jacknife Lee, Paul Epworth, Alex Bonenfant
Crystal Castles chronology
Crystal Castles
(2008)
(II)
(2010)
(III)
(2012)
Singles from (II)
  1. "Celestica"
    Released: April 17, 2010 (2010-04-17)
  2. "Doe Deer"
    Released: April 17, 2010 (2010-04-17)
  3. "Baptism"
    Released: July 26, 2010 (2010-07-26)
  4. "Not in Love"
    Released: December 6, 2010 (2010-12-06)

Crystal Castles, also known as (II), is the second studio album by Crystal Castles released by Fiction Records on May 24, 2010.[3][4] The album was initially scheduled for release on the June 7th, 2010, but the release dates were moved forward after the album leaked online, thus a digital version of the album was released on the April 23rd, 2010.

Background[edit]

The album was recorded by Ethan Kath in a variety of locations including an abandoned church in Iceland, a self-built cabin in northern Ontario, a garage behind an abandoned drug store in Detroit, as well as Paul "Phones" Epworth's London studio.[5] Of the experience, Kath said "I recorded most of the record in the coldest winter in decades in a church without heat in Iceland. It was so cold that when I listen back I can hear myself shivering. I chose it because it felt right".[6] In December 2009, Kath gave vocalist Alice Glass a CD-R containing 70 instrumental tracks, for which she then recorded vocals on 35 tracks.

In order to promote the album the band released the first single Celestica in April and an EP titled Doe Deer was released only a few days later. In May the band physically released the album. The album went at #48 in the UK Albums Chart[7] and at #188 in the US Billboard 200.[8] NME put the album at number #31 in the '50 Best Albums of the Year'. Later on in December the band released the third single off the album Not in Love which is a cover of a Platinum Blonde song featuring Robert Smith doing guest vocals which became the bands highest charting single to date.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
BBC Music favorable[9]
Consequence of Sound 3/5 stars[1]
The Guardian favorable[10]
NME 7/10[11]
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[12]
PopMatters 8/10[13]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[14]
Spin 8/10[15]
Tiny Mix Tapes 3.5/5 stars[16]

Crystal Castles has been met with mostly positive reviews from critics. According to aggregator site Metacritic, the album currently holds a 77% rating.[17] Daniel Brockman of The Boston Phoenix praised the band for creating "a dense-yet-airy thicket of pure pop transcendence." MusicOMH also gave an extremely positive review, describing the album as "bold, dramatic, more than a little screwed-up and stunningly exciting statement." The music website Pitchfork Media rated the album 8.5 out of 10, and awarded it their "Best New Music" accolade. Pitchfork placed it at number 34 on its list "The Top 50 Albums of 2010".[18]

The album was a longlisted nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize.[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Fainting Spells"   2:44
2. "Celestica"   3:48
3. "Doe Deer"   1:38
4. "Baptism"   4:13
5. "Year of Silence"   4:54
6. "Empathy"   4:11
7. "Suffocation"   4:02
8. "Violent Dreams"   4:35
9. "Vietnam"   5:08
10. "Birds"   2:31
11. "Pap Smear"   3:43
12. "Not in Love"   3:33
13. "Intimate"   4:45
14. "I Am Made of Chalk"   3:09
Big Day Out deluxe reissue
No. Title Length
15. "Not in Love" (featuring Robert Smith from The Cure) 3:48
16. "Celestica" (Bear in Heaven Remix) 3:29
17. "Celestica" (Thurston Moore Remix) 3:51
18. "Baptism" (No Age Remix) 4:18
19. "Baptism" (Punks Jump Up Remix) 5:03
20. "Suffocation" (Memory Tapes Remix) 5:09
21. "Mother Knows Best"   2:01
22. "Insectica"   1:49
23. "Seed"   1:44

Personnel[edit]

Crystal Castles
Additional personnel
  • Christopher Chartrand – drums on "Intimate", live drums
Production
  • Jacknife Lee – production on "Baptism", "Empathy", "Suffocation", "Vietnam", "Not in Love"
  • Paul Epworth – additional production on "Celestica", "I Am Made of Chalk", recording on "Birds"
  • Alex Bonenfant – production on "Empathy", recording on "Baptism", "Suffocation", "Birds", "Pap Smear", "Intimate", mixing on "Suffocation", "Intimate"
  • Lexxx – mixing on "Fainting Spells", "Baptism", "Year of Silence", "Empathy", "Suffocation", "Violent Dreams", "Vietnam", "Birds", "Pap Smear", recording on "Fainting Spells"
  • Matthew Wagner – recording on "Doe Deer"
  • Nilesh Patel – mastering
  • Jim Chancellor – A&R
  • James Sandom – management
  • X Tecumseh Clark – cover model
  • Todd Tamanend Clark – cover photo
  • Marc Pannozzo – band photo

( II ) and re-release[edit]

On April 25, 2011, Crystal Castles released a new version of the album, this time titled ( II ), which included the Robert Smith version of Not in Love instead of the previous version.[20] This release has superseded the previous release of the album in the U.S. iTunes Store.[21]

Notes[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[23] 25
UK Albums Chart[7] 48
UK Dance Albums Chart[24] 8
US Billboard 200[8] 188
U.S. Digital Albums[8] 24
U.S. Top Electronic Albums[8] 6
U.S. Top Heatseekers[8] 3

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Drowned In Sound UK The 50 Best Albums of the Year 2010 #18
MusicOMH UK The 50 Best Albums of the Year 2010 #32
NME UK The 50 Best Albums of the Year 2010 #31[25]
Pitchfork Media USA The 50 Best Albums of the Year 2010 #34[26]
Rough Trade UK The 100 Best Albums of the Year 2010 #35[27]
Stereogum USA The 50 Best Albums of the Year 2010 #12[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stefan. "Consequence of Sound review". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  2. ^ a b Phares, Heather (2010-04-23). "Allmusic review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  3. ^ Dombal, Ryan (2010-04-13). "Crystal Castles Announce Second LP | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  4. ^ "New album "II" tracklist". Crystalcastles.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  5. ^ "2nd album update". Crystalcastles.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  6. ^ http://straightfrommyblood.tumblr.com/post/4638114971/i-recorded-most-of-the-record-in-the-coldest
  7. ^ a b Chart Stats - Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles Chart Stats. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  8. ^ a b c d e Billboard.com artist search Billboard. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  9. ^ "BBC review". BBC Music. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  10. ^ Killian Fox. "The Guardian review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  11. ^ Mackay, Emily (2010-05-03). "Album Review: Crystal Castles – 'Crystal Castles' (Fiction)". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  12. ^ Cohen, Ian (2010-04-29). "Pitchfork Media review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  13. ^ Jayasuriya, Mehan (2008-07-21). "Popmatters review". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  14. ^ "Slant Magazine review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  15. ^ Reeves, Mosi (2010-06-08). "Spin review". Spin. Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  16. ^ Hill, Jay. "Tiny Mix Tapes review". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  17. ^ "Crystal Castles [2010] – Crystal Castles". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  18. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 50 Albums of 2010 | Features". Pitchfork. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  19. ^ "Blue Rodeo, BSS on Polaris long list". The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2010.
  20. ^ "( II ) by Crystal Castles". iTunes Store. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "Download Crystal Castles Music on iTunes". iTunes Store. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c d Crystal Castles (Media notes). Crystal Castles. Fiction. 2010. 
  23. ^ Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles 2010 (Album) Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  24. ^ Top 40 Dance Albums Archive 5 June 2010 Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  25. ^ "NME". NME. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  26. ^ By Pitchfork, December 16, 2010 (2010-12-16). "Staff Lists: The Top 50 Albums of 2010 | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  27. ^ "Welcome to Rough Trade Shops". Roughtrade.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  28. ^ "Stereogum's Top 50 Albums Of 2010". Albumoftheyear.org. Retrieved 2011-08-30.