I forgot how much I missed the musical talents of Justice, it’s been five years since their last studio album Audio, Video, Disco. came out, and they have finally returned with their excellent third record Woman. The two producers are clearly having a lot of fun here, riffing on styles from their previous work as well as exploring new sounds, making music that keeps you intrigued the whole way through. The first track, ‘Safe and Sound’, hooked me instantly with a deliciously funky bassline, some disco-esque strings, and an ethereal choir (recorded at RAK Studios with the London Contemporary Orchestra). There is an inevitable comparison between their fellow French musicians Daft Punk, however the duo set themselves apart by heading down a funkier and bassier dance route, as opposed to the guitar based disco dance effort on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.
‘Pleasure’ is next on the album, which has a great blend of live and part electronic music with spacey vocals. I’m a particular fan of the line ‘Use imagination, as a destination’, it’s short and simple but provides a somewhat profound ideal to strive for in life, they are smart lyricists as well as excellent musicians and producers. This song has an almost Chromeo mixed with M83 vibe, with a great synth solo towards the songs climax. The album does vary in sound, there are pleasant and slower tempo dance numbers such as ‘Stop’ (which also uses great backing vocals) and trippy big dance songs like ‘Alakazam!’.
There are clear 80s influences across the album, without ramming it down your throat or using nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake, this is audible on tracks like ‘Fire’ which has an unexpected Strangler’s style (with a solo reminiscent of ‘No More Heroes’) and ‘Heavy Metal’ which merges 80s with a classical music sound. There are elements of Justice’s earlier sound on Woman, such as their lead single ‘Randy,’ which feels like a throwback to early/mid 2000s electronic dance music which develops into a very electronic orchestral sounding number, with strings towards the end of the track that are blended with funky synth melodies.
This album is, without a doubt, Justice proving that they are still pioneers of electronic dance music, they show their creativity and musical sensibility by forming a versatile album that crosses into various genres. Sound is experimented with throughout this album, which keeps it both an interesting and surprising record. It’s good to see Justice return on top form, and I for one am glad just to have new material from them, here’s hoping they will make a few festival appearances (Glastonbury anyone?) because experiencing this album live would probably blow my mind.