This duo from Toronto is no stranger to accolades. Their debut album (also self-titled), was voted one of NME's top albums of the decade, amongst other honors. If possible, their sophomore effort is even better. Alice Krauss' voice is more haunting and beautiful than ever, and the album just seems more finished and complete. To start off, "Celestica" might be my favorite song of the year. Krauss' voice is effortless, which serves in contrast to the dense synth instrumentation of the song. This is were Crystal Castles shine. The contrast between the music and the vocals seems so wrong, yet sounds so right. In the end, Crystal Castles succeeds by creating the ultimate blend of hard and soft, heavy and light.
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