Crystal Method

Crystal Method

Legion of Boom


Consider for a moment the dilemma of the electronic(a) band — you can make records out of synthetic sounds that are great from the dance floor to a pair of headphones, but when the time comes to head into the studio to record a song, not just make a record, well… that’s what separates the adults from the kiddies. This is what truly great acts from Eurythmics to Underworld have understood. Crystal Method’s problem, on this album anyway, is that they’re much better at the synthetic sounds than at that pesky songwriting.

To their credit, the duo — Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland — clearly have ambitions in this direction. Guest vocalists abound, of whom Lisa Kekula and Hanifah Walidah come off best on “Realizer” and “Wide Open,” respectively. “American Way” gets a good vibe going in the intro, but as soon as Rahzel, from the Roots, starts in, it turns into just another goddamn electronica/rap hybrid.

Tracks like the Coldcut-like “I Know It’s You,” “Weapons of Mass Distortion” and “Acetone” let Crystal Method do what they do best — groove — and show them to better advantage. On the whole, though, Legion of Boom is diverting for a couple of tracks, not at all unpleasant for a handful of others, but you’ll have to love synthetic sound for its own sake a lot to believe it’s more.

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