Music Reviews

Justice Cross

(Ed Banger) Rating - 7/10

Justice carries the spirit of Daft Punk's Homework and Discovery with it throughout +. Not that it's a better album than those, but that it gives as little of a fuck as those watersheds. Looking like a shameless disco house replicator, French disco has actually been a pioneering spirit in abandoning the dance paradigms its era demands and taking what sounds good to them and riding that to actual artistic mission statements. + unites the sincerely punk abrasive fuzziness of Homework and the microcut 70s revelry of Discovery and cooks up something that both Cerrone and digital hardcore junkies can celebrate.

Sure, the album is cut like a mix and the songs within are spliced further, but the classical segues, cheerful analogue tones, and any number of touches that could be described as "corny" leaven the deafening edge of these tracks. A song as cheerful as Valentine, with its vintage (ish) synths must override any rumour of Justice as destructors, regardless of whatever distortion they cut over it to prove their steez. Follow up TThhee Ppaarrttyy tries a little bit to recant with a half minimal and foreboding segue and adds an initially threatening female rap (very JJ Fad without harmonies) but ends up just as affable. By the time that gets into DVNO with a similarly threatening/affable male voice and a similarly funtime drum and synth dialog the question has been extinguished: Justice want you to dance and clap your hands, and anything weird they do is just trying to make sure you don't fall asleep.

The Castlevania keys even come in over the noise of Waters of Nazereth, to prevent you from thinking this is all cut and spice confrontation. While + may lack the slow burn transcendence of several Homework tracks, it does borrow the trick Discovery played of shuffling enough electronic brilliance in bright pop passages to smuggle dance floor love into stereos. Late and early tracks such as One Minute to Midnight, Let There Be Light, Genesis, and both halves of Phantom flirt with dancefloor oblivion, punk noisiness, and 80s pop smileyhood to create a pleasurable and faux dangerous package.

Ultimately, Justice is another example of rearranging and reshuffling the devices of the past, but with complete understanding of their effectiveness to a point that sounds fresh.