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May 2, 2005

Shortcuts: Crystal Method's "Community Service II"

The Crystal Method

Community Service II

Ultra

Perhaps best known for their tracks "Get Busy Child" and "Name of the Game," the Crystal Method make music that is both hard-rocking with huge beats and undeniably electronic. Following their 2004 artist album Legion of Boom and 2002 DJ album Community Service, they have put together their second DJ album.

Community Service II has more in common with its predecessor than just its name. The album takes a variety of electronic and rock songs, plays them louder, harder, adds bigger beats, and fuses them together into a coherent, hard-driving, and energetic set. Several songs in Community Service II get remix attention—for example, in the dramatically remixed version of the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" only the vocal track survives, and not unscathed.

While some songs take the energy down a notch—such the UNKLE track "Reign"—the album maintains its big beats and upbeat energy throughout. This is noteworthy considering that the album includes remixes of artists outside the Crystal Method's usual repertoire. From New Order to the Smashing Pumpkins, both of whom are remixed on the album, Community Service II has a unity often lacking in DJ albums. Part of this unity can probably be attributed to the presence of five Crystal Method songs on the track list and to the fact that several of the other 16 tracks have been remixed. This album is a rockin' mix that you won't feel bad dropping at any party.

— Peter Robinett