Released by Ed Banger Records
Remember when Kanye West interrupted an acceptance speech for Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards to declare how he should have been the winner instead? That victorious video belonged to French electro-house duo Justice who, at the time, had not yet released a full-length album. It’s less than one year later and Justice have conceded to the early hype releasing their debut † (pronounced ‘Cross’), a twelve-track album overrun with biblical imagery and a grandiose, well-sequenced mix of dance-distorted rock, funk, and pop to match. From cover art and track titles to production style † is thematically consistent. Rolling timpani’s create orchestral havoc when they compete with a nasty bass line on the epic opener “Genesis.” The track then ascends into the funky outerspace of “Let There Be Light” and is followed by obvious—but lovable—first single, the disco throwback “D.A.N.C.E.” What is also great about †—and adds to the biblical allegory—is the way that Justice incorporate a rock influence on what is essentially a dance album (hear: “Waters of Nazareth”). If comparisons are necessary, this means that Justice sound like a mash-up of their Vice Records labelmates Death From Above1979 and fellow Parisian dancefloor legends Daft Punk.
With †, Justice bring together twelve very varied tracks from the deafening, insistency of “Stress”—that may be lost on some but works with the ambitious theme of the album as an entirety—to Uffie’s cutesy, party-rap on aptly-titled, “The Party.” It may be partly due to the way that the French house genre has embraced experimentation or perhaps the mainstream acceptance of Daft Punk, but Justice will also do well based on the innovative way in which they conceptualize and make their music—it’s not only Kanye West who is so bold.