Crystal Castles, also known as (II), is the second studio album by Crystal Castles released by Fiction Records and Last Gang Records on May 24, 2010. 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.
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. 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". 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 and at #188 in the US Billboard 200.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 (Album version does not feature vocals by Robert Smith). The single became the band's highest charting single to date.
Crystal Castles has been met with mostly positive reviews from critics. According to aggregator site Metacritic, the album currently holds a 77% rating. 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".
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. This release has superseded the previous release of the album in the U.S. iTunes Store.