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+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
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+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
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+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
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The Crystal Method

Four years is a long time to go without any new product in the pop marketplace, but it's been done successfully a few times in the past — though not often by artists in the quick-changing world of dance/electronica. If anything, the great triumph of Tweekend is that Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan have managed a pretty current-sounding album four long years after Vegas, their hyperactive and densely packed debut.

On Tweekend, the Crystal Method never swerve too far away from the big-funky-drums-and-pitch-bending-keyboard formula they worked so hard on Vegas, but they do add some rock guitar to the mix, which moves things along quite nicely. Tom Morello co-produces and appears on "PHD" and "Wild, Sweet & Cool," while also co-producing "Name of the Game"; his feel for the groove perfected in Rage Against The Machine doesn't let the Crystal Method down. Having DJ Swamp cut up the vocal samples on "Name of the Game" doesn't hurt either. Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots makes an appearance on the fast-paced "Murder," dropping in some distorted funk-rock guitar while crooning his best imitation of stereotypical faceless techno-chorus singer. He does a damn good job of it too.

If there's any discernible difference between Vegas and Tweekend, it's that Kirkland and Jordan give the sounds on this latest disc more of a chance to be heard. Vegas, not unlike the city it was named after, was a noisy affair, with a lot of flash that sped by and wore the listener out. Tweekend shares the intensity of the duo's debut disc, but often gives the songs a littlebreathing room. By doing this, it allows the listener to admire the craft of the artists' work, especially on deceptively simplistic songs like "Roll It Up," "The Winner" and "Over the Line."

No one who bought Vegas will be disappointed by Tweekend, unless they're looking for some statement of artist growth. That's the only area where this album falters. It is otherwise a solid collection of thundering Big Beat grooves. Nothing earth-shattering, but definitely booty-grooving.

by Randy Reiss

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