Crystal Castles II

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Crystal Castles II
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles II.png
Studio album by Crystal Castles
Released April 23, 2010 (2010-04-23)
Genre
Length 52:54
Label
Producer
Crystal Castles chronology
Crystal Castles
(2008)
Crystal Castles II
(2010)
III
(2012)
Singles from Crystal Castles II
  1. "Celestica"
    Released: April 17, 2010
  2. "Baptism"
    Released: July 26, 2010
  3. "Not in Love"
    Released: December 6, 2010

Crystal Castles II is the second studio album by Canadian electronic music duo Crystal Castles, released on May 24, 2010 by Fiction Records and Last Gang Records.[4][5] The album was initially scheduled for release on the June 7, 2010; however, the release dates were moved forward after the album leaked online, thus a digital version of the album was released on April 23, 2010.

On April 25, 2011, the album was reissued digitally under the title (II), which replaced the original version of "Not in Love" with the version featuring Robert Smith.[6]

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 Epworth's London studio.[7] 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".[8] 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 reached number 48 on the UK Albums Chart and number 188 on the US Billboard 200.[9][10] Later on in December, the duo's cover of the Platinum Blonde song "Not in Love", featuring guest vocals from Robert Smith of The Cure, was released as the album's third single. The single became Crystal Castles' highest-charting single to date.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 77/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[12]
BBC Music Favorable[13]
Consequence of Sound 3/5 stars[3]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[14]
NME 7/10[15]
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[16]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[17]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[18]
Spin 8/10[19]
Tiny Mix Tapes 3.5/5 stars[20]

Crystal Castles II received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 77, based on 24 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[11] 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.

Accolades[edit]

The album was a longlisted nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize.[21]

Publication List Rank
Drowned in Sound Albums of the Year 2010[22] 18
musicOMH Top 50 Albums of 2010[23] 33
NME 75 Best Albums of 2010[24] 31
Pitchfork Media The Top 50 Albums of 2010[25] 34
The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far (2010–2014)[2] 65
PopMatters The 70 Best Albums of 2010[26] 51
Rough Trade Albums of the Year (2010)[27] 35
Slant Magazine The 25 Best Albums of 2010[28] 6
Spin The 40 Best Albums of 2010[29] 21
Stereogum Top 50 Albums of 2010[30] 12

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Fainting Spells"   Kath 2:44
2. "Celestica"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
3:48
3. "Doe Deer"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
Kath 1:38
4. "Baptism"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
  • Luke Leeder
4:13
5. "Year of Silence"  
Kath 4:54
6. "Empathy"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
  • Kath
  • Alex Bonenfant
4:11
7. "Suffocation"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
  • Kath
  • Lee
4:02
8. "Violent Dreams"   Kath 4:35
9. "Vietnam"  
  • Kath
  • Nordenstam
  • Kath
  • Lee
5:08
10. "Birds"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
Kath 2:31
11. "Pap Smear"  
  • Kath
  • Glass
Kath 3:43
12. "Not in Love"   Mark Holmes
  • Kath
  • Lee
3:33
13. "Intimate"   Kath Kath 4:45
14. "I Am Made of Chalk"   Kath
  • Kath
  • Epworth[b]
3:09
Notes
  • ^a signifies an additional producer
  • ^b signifies an additional vocal producer
Sampling credits[31]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Crystal Castles II.[31]

Crystal Castles
Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[32] 25
Irish Albums Chart[33] 56
Scottish Albums Chart[34] 54
UK Albums Chart[9] 48
UK Dance Albums Chart[35] 8
US Billboard 200[10] 188
US Dance/Electronic Albums[36] 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zaleski, Annie (November 6, 2012). "Crystal Castles: (III)". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far (2010–2014)". Pitchfork Media. August 19, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Young, Alex (May 3, 2010). "Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ Dombal, Ryan (2010-04-13). "Crystal Castles Announce Second LP | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  5. ^ "New album "II" tracklist". Crystalcastles.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  6. ^ "( II ) by Crystal Castles". iTunes Store. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "2nd album update". Crystalcastles.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  8. ^ http://straightfrommyblood.tumblr.com/post/4638114971/i-recorded-most-of-the-record-in-the-coldest
  9. ^ a b "Crystal Castles" (select "Albums" tab). Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Crystal Castles – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Reviews for Crystal Castles [2010] by Crystal Castles". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ Phares, Heather. "Crystal Castles (II) – Crystal Castles". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  13. ^ Parkin, Chris (May 19, 2010). "Review of Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)". BBC Music. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Hann, Michael (May 20, 2010). "Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles". The Guardian. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  15. ^ Mackay, Emily (May 3, 2010). "Album Review: Crystal Castles – 'Crystal Castles' (Fiction)". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ Cohen, Ian (April 29, 2010). "Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ Jayasuriya, Mehan (June 4, 2010). "Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles". PopMatters. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  18. ^ Henderson, Eric (May 22, 2010). "Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  19. ^ Reeves, Mosi (June 8, 2010). "Crystal Castles, 'Crystal Castles' (Fiction)". Spin. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  20. ^ Hill, Jay (June 1, 2010). "Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Blue Rodeo, BSS on Polaris long list". The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2010.
  22. ^ Adams, Sean (December 2, 2010). "Drowned in Sound's albums of the year 2010: 50–11". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  23. ^ "musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2010: The Complete List". musicOMH. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  24. ^ "75 best albums of 2010". NME. Time Inc. UK. November 22, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  25. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 2010". Pitchfork Media. December 16, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  26. ^ "The 70 Best Albums of 2010". PopMatters. December 23, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Albums of the Year". Rough Trade. 2010. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  28. ^ "The 25 Best Albums of 2010". Slant Magazine. December 14, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  29. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2010". Spin. December 6, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Stereogum's Top 50 Albums Of 2010". Stereogum. December 8, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  31. ^ a b Crystal Castles II (CD liner notes). Crystal Castles. Fiction Records. 2010. 2740407. 
  32. ^ "Crystal Castles – (II)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 27 May 2010". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. May 30 – June 5, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Official Dance Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. May 30 – June 5, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Crystal Castles – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 15, 2016.