I recall briefly listening to Crystal Castles back in '08 and thinking "Boy, I just don't get this". I was ashamed. They where everything I was supposed to like; I mean NME featured the band's eponymous release in their top 100 albums of the decade list, and heck, those guys know a thing or two about music, don't they? So, you understand my slight apprehension at giving the bands latest offering Not In Love a whirl.
Monday, 8 November 2010
Interestingly this is the songs third incarnation - that's right, it's a cover, initially released by 80's New Wavers Platinum Blonde. Its second manifestation featured on Crystal Castles' second, er, eponymous album released earlier in the year, which brings us to this current version. The track replaces the chipmunk-ish vocals of the bands frontwomen Alice Glass with the emotive croon of The Cure's Robert Smith (whose dishevelled hair will no doubt be heading any upcoming Goth revival). On any other Crystal Castles song, the addition of Smith's vocals would result in a musical train wreck. But here, bizarrely, sitting atop of a darkly euphoric trash trance hook, it shines. It actually reminds me of The Killers, circa Human, not least because it's now clear Brandon Flowers modelled his voice on that of The Cure frontman.
The more I listen to Not In Love, the more I feel I may need to re-evaluate my opinion of Crystal Castles, for this is a truly fantastic track. My worry is that it's only Smith's vocals that I find appealing. I guess a listen to the album will show if this is the case. What is he up to these day's anyway? Does he not fancy turning this experimental dance music duo into a three piece?