Last time I reviewed a Justice album (Audio, Video, Disco), it’s safe to say I wasn’t all that complimentary towards it. I’ve yet to restore that piece of infamy to the archive, but, I essentially compared it to “Stonehenge” by Spinal Tap and a Top Gear compilation. At the time, some people agreed and some people felt I was “taking down” a popular act. For what it is worth, I still don’t really like it and it’s interesting to see more people move into my line of thinking which really was; it has a couple of alright things on it and the rest is wearing it’s influences so hard on it’s sleeve that it falls into parody. I also do consider myself a ‘fan’ of Justice, pretty much own everything possible from the first album (Cross), including their remix work of that period and have seem them live on numerous occasions. SO THERE. You can like something without being a total sycophant.
Now then, that’s the ‘disclaimer’ part of this ‘review’ over with. What do I think of their new album, “Woman“? Well, it’s pretty good! You’d have to be a bit of an arsehole to hate an album which has the glorious disco goodness of “Safe & Sound” as it’s opener. Essentially, it’s very comparable to “D.A.N.C.E.” which is still their biggest hit. If you imagine that “D.A.N.C.E” is a scruffy child with some talent then “Safe & Sound” is that child growing up to become a concert-pianist.
It sets the tone for the entire album, it’s electro meets disco and it’s all done with touches of Justice style production and it’s only touches… they are remarkably restrained for the duration of the album. “Woman” also has a theme that runs through most of it, one of romance and sexuality. It’s not handled terribly either, it’s all rather sweet and innocent, never venturing into cringe territory. It’s most prominent on tracks such as “Pleasure“, “Fire“, “Love SOS” and of course, “Randy“.
Here is a quote on “Randy” from Xavier of Justice. I will add a link to the interview it’s from when I remember where I stole it from. (Professional!)
The word Randy has three meanings: it can be a boy’s name, a girl’s name or a sexual state. I don’t know. What do you think?
Also of note is that most of the album features Justice’s own vocals (Romuald makes an appearance on “Fire” & “Love SOS”). Something that wasn’t to the tastes of many last time round. It’s still not going to appease everybody… however, it’s worth mentioning they are vastly improved. You’ll be able to understand the lyrics and everything. In-fact, there are only two instrumentals on the album, “Heavy Metal” (which is one I can imagine people will be unsure of, it’s a bit like something off the Audio Video Disco) and the Norwegian Disco meets Gary Numan stylings of “Alakazam!“.
Here is a quote I made up, I’m gonna attribute it Gaspard of Justice to make things even.
It’d be nice if people reviewed this album with and didn’t mention Daft Punk for once. We get it. We are French. Well done.
So yeah, I liked it. It’s not a world-changer and the worst you can call a few tracks is probably “average”… but, c’mon… we all need to stop pretending every album of something we like is a massive evolution in sound and the best thing in the world anyway. I do think if they continue like this though, we are perhaps an album away from such a thing happening though.
If you liked the last album, you were probably expecting me to slate this and get all angry, bad luck.
If you didn’t like the last album, you’ll probably be happy it’s a bit of a return to form,
If you don’t give a shit about them, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Hey! Justice and Soulwax are back and making nice music! Maybe we can kill that future we were all heading towards. You know the one… the one where people write drivel such as “How Did Deep House Become the Pulled Pork of Dance Music?” imagine living in a world where you only know two whole types of dance music. It’s not a nice world. Lets shape the fuck up for 2017!