Release Date: May 12, 2009
Record label: INgrooves
Genre(s): Dance, Electronic
The Crystal Method have gradually shed the glossy big-beat techno that made their name in the late '90s as one of the few mainstream American answers to the Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, and they've also matured as producers, which has resulted in better albums (but fewer dancefloor-filling singles). They may still grab influences from the best in '90s dance music, but they've become increasingly adept at constructing albums with more ideas (and subtlety) than the usual dance act. Divided by Night is indeed varied and polished, and it includes guest features by the bucketful, but it reveals again that, more than anything, the Crystal Method are merely clever regurgitators of the past, particularly chained to making extroverted dance music that never innovates and rarely excites.
Part of the frustration audiences tend to have with the music of the Crystal Method certainly stems from potential. Specifically, the Crystal Method simply doesn’t seem interested in fulfilling any of the artistic aspirations foisted upon the duo after the release of its surprisingly well-received 1997 debut, Vegas. Rather, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland are content with making beat-heavy compositions designed with the simple goal of making people move.