17 May 2009

The Crystal Method: "Divided by Night"

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the Crystal Method has released their fourth studio album “Divided by Night,” and of the four studio albums this album is a true gem by force. Though four studios albums in sixteen years may not seem like a lot, it is wise to remember that this duo (Kevin Jordan and Scott Kirkland) has released thirty singles, not to mention compilations, mixed albums, soundtracks, and EPs. “Divided by Night,” like all their other albums, will probably leave a listener clueless, as again they venture outside of what is expected of them to produce. The album could partially sound a lot like bands like Metric at one point then switch over to have a Bob Marley feel, which oddly sounds great.

This album is extremely diverse and may lead to something of a totally overwhelming listening experience; however, to its credit, “Divided by Night” transitions greatly from track to track. The move to a higher end production technology is obvious, with the crispness of the sound. An electronic band, that has no reservations integrating breakbeat, hip-hop, and pop sensibilities, Crystal Method has garnished the respect of critics and the mainstream as well, while solidifying their international reputation as one of the world’s leading electronic bands.

“Divided by Night” includes an array of guest appearances, including: Matisyahu, Meiko, Peter Hook (yes the Joy Division/New Order Peter Hook), Justin Warfield, LMFAO, Emily Haines, Jason Lytle, Stefanie King Warfield, and The Heavy. It is an interesting mix of characters and the noise varies from urban beats to an electronic orgy of sound. Matisyahu definitely varied the album by adding a reggae resonance, while Jason Warfield adds an urgency that is new and fresh to the Crystal Method.

There is no doubt that this album will be a club album, with dance anthems galore, though a friend of mine (SlowdiveMusic) says he likes to speed to it in his car. And though dance oriented music does not traditionally have profound lyrics, you may be surprised to hear profundity on the album: “Drown in the Now,” featuring Matisyahu, “Kling to the Wreckage,” featuring Justin Warfield, and “Slipstream,” featuring Jason Lytle. Lyrics, such as, “We heard you got lost in the back scene … But we all know nothing's as it seems … Yeah we heard you got caught in the slipstream … and it's the last time you were seen,” just add a whole other dimension to the album.

What is amazing is that even after such a long hiatus, Crystal Method has come back strong (stronger than ever) to release music that is fresh and relevant. That is the thing with electronic music; it is quickly replaced by something new. With technology always improving, new sounds becoming available, better programs and hardware, last year's electronic music is passé. But not the Crystal Method (SlowdiveMusic still blasts “Busy Child” twelve years after its release). There is a careful attention paid to writing music that goes beyond the electronic elements and sounds, where attention is paid to savvy arrangements and production styles that bring out the feel of the song and not just a parade of sounds. “Divided by Night” is a solid album that will prove longevity, as Crystal Method continues to prove they can infuse new ideas to electronic music. (Get the iTunes deluxe edition, you will be impressed with the extras.)

Track Listing:
1. Divided by Night
2. Dirty Thirty – featuring Peter Hook
3. Down in the Now – featuring Matisyahu
4. Kling to the Wreckage – featuring Justin Warfield and Stefanie King Warfield
5. Smile?
6. Sine Language – featuring LMFAO
7. Double Down Under
8. Come Back Clean – featuring Emily Haines
9. Slipstream – featuring Jason Lytle
10. Black Rainbows – featuring Stefanie King Warfield
11. Blunts & Robots – featuring Peter Hook
12. Fallling Hard – featuring Meiko
13. Play for Real – featuring the Heavy (iTunes Deluxe)
14. Divided by Night Track-by-Track Video (iTunes Deluxe)
15. Down in the Now – music video (iTunes Deluxe)
• Divided by Night Digital Booklet

Keep up with the band at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here is the video for “Divided by Night” from TheCrystalMethod YouTube Channel


  1. For some strange reaason...i get the feeling like i am watching Sin City while watching this video...But i must say that is one fucking awesome video. Great review JuJu.

  2. I really liked the video, I saw it a few days ago. I gotta listen to the rest of the album once I get it.

  3. See the refresing thing about this blog is that it isn't limited. And I think this album reflects the blog itself. Strong. As for TCM I still have thier "Tweekend" album in my collection and to see the evolution that has occured is like mind blowing. But you can still hear thier essence, "Down in the Now" sounds like "PCD's" (From the Tweekend) milder little brother which is nice. You can see the similarities but they are two seperate entities.

  4. Not having heard the album as of date, only the single, I have to say that "Divided By Night" is an interesting offering when one looks back on such tracks as "Trip Like I Do" and "Name of the Game". TCM had a relatively dark and heavy sound with Vegas and Tweekend (big heavy bass lines and lots of distorted sounds), while "Divided By Night" has a more... I guess you could call it approachable, electronic sound, whereas older albums were more rock drven. I feel it's a very modernized 80's sound, and I like it. Looking forward to listening to the full album.