Record Review: The Crystal Method's 'Divided by Night'

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Friday, August 7, 2009


"Divided by Night"

Kindred spirits: DJ Icey, Uberzone

Show: Saturday at Fur. Show starts at 10 p.m. 202-842-3401.

Established musicians have used guest artists on albums forever. Some artists (Reba McEntire comes immediately to mind) record entire albums with guest artists.

But McEntire has released almost three dozen albums and is on almost 50 special releases. Compare that with the Crystal Method's four albums, the latest with several well-known guest artists, and you begin to see the dilemma.

Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan, the duo that is this electronica/breakbeat band, are pioneers who have taken the steady path to prominence by methodically developing their art. There's no doubt they deserve raves for their trippy, peppy hooks, effects and lyrical arrangements .

But the guest artists -- including LMFAO and Matisyahu, the American Hasidic reggae artist -- almost take over the album.

That's not to say that all the songs, such as "Come Back Clean" with guest Emily Haines of Metric, are overwhelmed. And "Drown in the Now" finely blends the duo's sound with Matisyahu's soaring vocalization. But that's certainly not the case with "Sine Language," which has such heavy rap it sounds more like an LMFAO song on which TCM guests.

Let's hope TCM's next album comes with more of the duo's amazing sound and not so much guest input.

-- Nancy Dunham

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