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Crystal Castles [II] CD

Price: £6.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Crystal Castles [II] + Crystal Castles + (III)
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 May 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B003H8F566
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,783 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Fainting Spells (Album Version) 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Celestica (Album Version) 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Doe Deer (12" Version) 1:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Baptism (Album Version) 4:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Year Of Silence (Album Version) 4:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Empathy (Album Version) 4:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Suffocation (Album Version) 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Violent Dreams (Album Version) 4:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Vietnam (Album Version) 5:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Birds (Album Version) 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Pap Smear (Album Version) 3:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Not In Love (Album Version) 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Intimate (Album Version) 4:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. I Am Made Of Chalk (Album Version) 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Crystal Castles Crystal Castles

BBC Review

Few recent indie bands have worked music fans and commentators alike into the sort of love-hate lather that Ontario's gothic rave duo Crystal Castles did in 2008. First, Ethan Kath and Alice Glass conjured up a rare kind of parent- and old critic-baiting pop sound by refracting the most full-on, euphoric and comic elements from trance, rave and electro through the snot-flecked lens of their childhood punk rock. It was a wailing expression of anger and dissolution that saw the duo play both shoddy and totally compelling gigs with such nihilistic abandon you feared for the life of front-lady Glass.

They also came across like surly teenagers. To say they got a bit of a reputation for being contrary prima donnas in some quarters is an understatement. But look beyond all the non-compliant interviews, the god-awful live shows and those nerve-grating 8-bit computer sounds that got them lumped in with the chiptune massive and there was evidence on their debut album that they knew how to craft a pop tune with great emotional heft. Whether from a wall of cacophony fronted by Glass's banshee wail or a dreamy wash of spine-tingling melodies, there was definitely something there.

It's this gauzy tendency that dominates their follow-up, suggesting they've either a) made peace with something or b) it's actually an icy, whacked-out bleakness being expressed, that points to the sort of deeper problems they seem quite capable of being involved with. Still, it's a largely terrific return that retains all of the weirdness and edge of their debut but allows the tunes to win through at the expense of unnecessary glitch and red-raw distortion.

The wonderfully titled Pap Smear–a sign the band haven't exactly warmed to the press–sounds a lot like early Björk. Year of Silence suggests a musical three-way between glam metal-era Marilyn Manson, angular gloomtronica duo The Knife and Lady Gaga, Glass's indecipherable vocal coda reminiscent of Bad Romance. The song most likely to be played in Urban Outfitters is Celestica, a swoonsome, pillow-soft relation of Untrust Us from their debut. Elsewhere, influences of M83, Ellen Allien and whirring Italo-disco all rear their tuneful heads.

Penultimate track Intimate shows they can still brood and kick dust with the sulkiest of punk kids, roaring with the white noise of indignation and screeching wildly. But by going light on oppressive darkness, Crystal Castles have allowed their obvious skill for writing dramatic pop with weird inflections twinkle through, helped along by more than just blazing anger. --Chris Parkin

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rt Giles on 13 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
This band has a very unique sound, no one is like them (that i know of). This is an excellent follow up to their preivious album, you can tell its crystal castles but this album has a more euphoric dance feel to it but sounds more mature than there previous album. To be honnest i liked the first album but i love this one! Definatly the best album i have listened to this year. if you liked the first Crystal Castles Album this is a must buy!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
Looking back over my wayward musings I gave Crystal Castles'
eponymous 2008 debut a brief but favorable review. With their
second delivery 'Crystal Castles II' I see no reason to abandon
them. Ethan Kath and Alice Glass are back with a collection of
fourteen uncompromising but highly accessible compositions.

The overall sound of the album is "crunchy". The treatments of
Ms Glass' voice conceal more than they reveal; this, despite the
often jolly dance-friendly nature of the arrangements, brings a
nicely sinister flavour to the proceedings. (The artwork is pretty
creepy too!)

'Celestica' has an almost-pretty breathy vocal floating over the
insistant beats. Waves of melancholy synth chords flow in and out
of the mix helping to sustain an uneasy dreamlike ambience.

'Doe Deer', however, is the stuff of nightmares. Ms Glass screeches
like a mad witch with a bad grudge. The inner-violence of the track
may be a tad unnerving for the faint-hearted. Uneasy-listening.

'Year Of Silence' is another sombre slice of stripped-down techno.
(Miss Kittin came to mind more than once). The thumping rhythm
would doubtless go down well in some of the darker corners of
contemporary urban clubland. (The kind of place where everyone
wears black and never smiles!)

'Suffocation', despite its ponderous title, delivers a glimpse of
warmth here and there with its almost-uplifting, anthemic theme.

'Birds' is a particularly interesting confection. The squelchy
beats, great crashing grungy chords and demented vocals outline
a territory which would have interested the venerable Mr Hitchcock,
were he still with us today.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Black Regent on 1 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
My first exposure to CC was via the tracks Untrust Us and Crimewave that were made available through a free Nine Inch Nails Tour ep download. I liked those very much, but nothing prepared me for absorbing the entirety of this gem.

Minimal yet densely layered, CC have crafted what has already become my favourite album of the year, and possibly one of my all time faves.

Opener - Fainting Spells is a disorientating beginning that gives way to the quite beautiful and melodic Celestica. Then abruptly Doe Deer assaults with its brief but disarming sonic aggressiveness. Baptism continues this energy but sounds like an offshoot of 90's rave infused with electro punk. The following four tracks - Year Of Silence, Empathy, Suffocation and Violent Dreams are all standout tracks, but by now the standard has already been set and thankfully the following tracks continue the trend.

Closing track I am Made Of Chalk begins in a cloud of distortion but gradually introduces a wash of synth sounds and remodulated vocal layering and other assorted sound bites. A lovely end to an album that manages to cram claustophobia, melancholy and discord and more besides into some the most original and idiosyncratic electronic music that has ever graced my ears.

As a consequence of this I then bought their first album which is made up of demos, singles and such like, so considering that, CC (II) should really be considered their first true album. Highly recommended.
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By Helena Bentley on 19 Jan. 2014
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Vinyl delivered super quick and packaging was good. Love the album since the day I heard it years back and have been wanting it on vinyl a while. Very happy
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By Jim on 10 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is a lot to like about this album. It's cool as a frozen cucumber, while still managing to be lively and energising. Celestica will make you feel like you are cucooned in spider's silk, or like you are Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt and completely mute. It is seductive and suffocating at the same time. On the other end of the spectrum, Baptism is an angry, ripping musical eqivalent of Van Gogh chopping his own ear off, and is quite brilliant.

However, there are some duff notes. Fainting Spells is terrible as an opening track. It may be intended as something 'experimental' and 'edgy', but it just comes across as a load of annoying, screechy noise. It is not a pleasant or enlightening experience to be thrust into an album with bleeding ears and general confusion. On the other hand, Not in Love is easy, polished listening but makes one feel slightly cheated. It is all shimmer and no substance. The other problem with the album is that, although there are a lot of good tracks, and although some consideration has gone into the ordering of the tracks (Unlike in [I]), it doesn't feel like a coherent whole. Crystal Castles only manage that in [III]. [II] is a collection of songs, some of them very good, that have some connection to one another but do not form a single body of work.

That said, it is definitely an album worth listening to, and I would recommend it.
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