Justice
Cross


4.5
superb

Review

by Apocalyptic Raids USER (7 Reviews)
July 30th, 2007 | 175 replies | 31,462 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: † is a fantastic yet polarising album which has a potentially broad appeal with music fans who aren't necessarily dance music connoisseurs. A contender for album of the year.

12 of 12 thought this review was well written

"We don't give a fuck. There's no name on the cover, no band logo, the album is just *." - Pedro Winter (Manager of Daft Punk and Justice, owner of Ed Banger records)

If someone was to see that album cover in a record store, I wouldn't blame them more mistaking it for something other than a Dance album. Hell, a few changes could fool anyone into thinking it is a project involving Deicide's Glen Benton. Thankfully, this is not the case and the album in question is actually the debut from the new superstars of the French House scene, Justice. After coming to prominence with their hit remix of Simian's Never Be Alone, Justice have been steadily building a following not only among fans of dance music, but also people (like me) whose knowledge of dance music consists of Daft Punk and a handful of other artists.

Alas, after hearing the first 90 seconds of this album, you'll probably realise the mysterious album art isn't a total oxymoron. Genesis kicks things off with foreboding synths that make way for the song's centrepiece; a growling, distorted bassline which twists and turns throughout the duration, eventually making way for an extended outro that leads us straight into Let There Be Light, and then * first single, D.A.N.C.E., which is their simultaneous homage to Michael Jackson and Daft Punk. The vocal and synth parts are reminiscent of something from Discovery and on the other hand, the lyrics (Do the D.A.N.C.E./Stick to the B.E.A.T./Just easy as A.B.C./Do the DANCE) and slapping-and-popping bassline are an obvious nod to MJ in his prime.

Where Let There be Light and D.A.N.C.E. were clean and cheerful affairs, Newjack and both Phantom songs see Justice delving into their darker, more distorted side again. Newjack is pretty much a polar opposite to the two songs that preceded it, and sees Justice's tendencies to slice their melodies into tiny parts taken to another level. In certain parts, it becomes so jittery that it's difficult to tell the instruments apart from the noises in between the slices, however just when it seems like you're in for 4 minutes of incoherence, they reel things back in with a well placed segue into something more relaxed.

For the second half of the album, * seems to echo the first half mood-wise, with Valentine and The Party allowing you to wind down after the frantic last 15 minutes. Valentine is kind of boring, but The Party (featuring American teenager Uffie on vocals) is a musically quiet but lyrically trashy look at how the folks at Ed Banger like to ppaarrttyy. Then, from DVNO through to One Minute to Midnight is the climax of the record, with two excellent tracks in DVNO and Stress making things progressively more distorted and chaotic to prepare us for Waters of Nazareth, which is four minutes of unadulterated, distorted fun. For me, it is undoubtedly the highlight of the album. Structure wise, it's got more in common with the cleaner tracks on the album such as Let There Be Light, but sonically it's the harshest moment here.

Production wise, * is also pretty damn good, with all the synths and samples being quite excellent quality wise. The one thing that really sets it apart from other dance albums I've heard though, is the lack of low end to the recording. The bass on the album has this loud, Motörhead-esque distortion and when combined with the punchy drum sounds makes for a rather unique sounding Dance album.

To sum up, * is a fantastic yet polarising album which has a potentially broad appeal with (rock) music fans who aren’t necessarily dance music connoisseurs. Personally, it's the best thing I've heard all year, and will certainly be a contender in many album of the year lists come December.



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user ratings (921)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
tseq (4.5)
A unique and compelling foray into modern electronic music....

A.K. (4)
Lots of great groves and hooks in one of the years best dance albums....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Apocalyptic Raids
July 30th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish the cross symbol actually worked

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 30th 2007



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have a mate who LOVES this album. I've only heard DANCE, and it was pretty good from what i remember. Might pick it up. Also, the video for it is f'uckin awesome.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

scallahan06
July 30th 2007



124 Comments


great review. i love this album soo much

ohcleverhansyou
July 30th 2007



885 Comments


I heard about this band. Electronic is not my normal thing...yet, but I was told it was a mix of electronic and rock, which sounded awesome. What I've heard so far is very interesting.

Jawaharal
July 30th 2007



1832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Justice pwn.

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2007



6085 Comments


I like this album, but it gets really annoying after a while. Better in spurts.

AtavanHalen
July 30th 2007



17927 Comments


I've heard a lot about this group. D.A.N.C.E is fantastic, definitely one of the best singles of the year.

I think I may download this record to see if I like it or not.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 6th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haha I was really digging this while I was drunk in my friend's car. Totally forgot my intense reaction to the music until I just recently bought the CD. Great great stuff. Comparisons to Daft Punk are almost too obvious.

Cravinov13
August 6th 2007



3854 Comments


from what I heard off of this, it's pretty bad really.

Justanothernimrod
August 6th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really excellent stuff this

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 6th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[quote=Cravinov]from what I heard off of this, it's pretty bad really.[/quote]

Nah it's cool don't worry about it.

Kaleid
August 6th 2007



710 Comments


I saw this today and almost bought it. I like my electronica, not so much my dance. Think I'll check it out though

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 6th 2007



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I loved "D.A.N.C.E." but I found everything else on this pretty boring.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 6th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Really? I seem to not like "D.A.N.C.E." as much as everybody else. Love the Phantoms and "Genesis" and "New Light."

skingle
August 10th 2007



48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

certain parts of this album get on my nerves, but it's by and large a very good dance cd.

blackmilk
August 10th 2007



584 Comments


I can imagine people attempting to dance to this.

big80smullet
August 19th 2007



41 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is a wicked CD. Absolutely love the Basslines. The drill samples in stress are absolutely wicked.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 20th 2007



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album rocks so hard.

Phil
August 25th 2007



1473 Comments


Yeah, its easily one of the best albums of the year like review said. I now wish I am seeing them.

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 26th 2007



3743 Comments


"D.A.N.C.E." got an MTV nomination. Not that it matters, but it fucking surprised me.



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