Various Arts & Crafts: X

Various Arts & Crafts: X
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When Arts & Crafts announced its intention to release a compilation album featuring pairs of its artists collaborating, the concern was that it would be tripped up by the many problems that usually befall these types of high-concept releases. However, it's this daringness and creativity that has allowed the label to have a tenth anniversary to celebrate in the first place. The album makes little attempt at stylistic cohesion — it is a compilation, after all — but the songs are consistently strong and the synergy between the artistic pairings noticeable. On Constantines cover "Time Can Be Overcome," Ra Ra Riot's string section adds depth that the Darcys typically fill with copious amounts of reverb. Apostle of Hustle and Zeus's cover of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" evokes a brand of fuzz-funk present in neither band, while Chilly Gonzales's rap on "Nothing Good Comes to Those Who Wait," his collaboration with Stars, is shockingly fitting. Arts & Crafts: X demonstrates what the label has been doing for the past ten years by taking risks and making a great product out of it, and it works both as full-length and summation of its first decade. (Arts & Crafts)