The Crystal Method

To chide the Crystal Method for being repetitive misses the point. These guys keep making the same record precisely because they have no interest in growing. And with Legion of Boom, they defiantly remain as empty-headed as ever. Too bad they're living in the wrong era for such mindlessness.

Whether it was the infectious groove of "Busy Child" off 1997's Vegas or the similarly infectious groove of "PHD" from 2001's Tweekend, Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan sought to recapture the innocent energy of techno's big-beat heyday of the '90s. In retrospect, the genre's euphoric energy was perfectly in keeping with the times: The economy was going up up up, the Internet was poised to change the world for the better, and nobody had a care in the world. In our current post-9/11 sag, though, techno sounds wholly irrelevant and superficial. And while more conservative musical styles offer solace, an album like Legion of Boom sounds hopelessly stuck in the past.

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