The Crystal Method

Crystal Method [Digipak]

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Because of their strong link to the technology of the day, electronic musicians are constantly fighting against time to keep their music from sounding too dated as various pieces of tech -- and even entire subgenres -- wash in and out on the fickle tide of public opinion. The real challenge, though, is for artists to update their sound without losing sight of their own points of view. On their fifth studio album, big beat veterans the Crystal Method attempt to do just that, reintroducing themselves with a self-titled effort that finds the duo adding a bit of modern snarl to their synth-heavy sound. Where their first album, Vegas, was a more chilled-out and atmospheric affair, The Crystal Method, with its elements of blown-out dancehall and dubstep, adds a layer of grit and grime that brings the pair's sound kicking and screaming into the year 2014. What's still intact, however, is Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan's knack for imbuing their albums with a flowing quality that feels inherently clubby. Although this album certainly has an aggressive streak, guest vocals from singers like LeAnn Rimes and Dia Frampton (who some might remember as a runner-up from Team Blake on The Voice) bring back the late-night, velvet-rope quality that helped set the duo apart from contemporaries like the Chemical Brothers nearly two decades ago. What's clear is that the Crystal Method are tied more to their mission than the means of completing it, so while the music might change, the goal of getting people out on the floor and dancing is always the same, anchoring them from being swept away by changing tastes and allowing them to enjoy a longevity that few EDM artists get to experience. ~ Gregory Heaney, Rovi