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Justice – Audio, Video, Disco

ask serif;”>It’s been four years since Justice’s debut album, viagra an age in music terms, so to say Audio, Video, Disco has been eagerly anticipated is a massive understatement. That’s not to say that Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay haven’t been keeping busy. Since 2007’s Cross, they have released a live record (A Cross the Universe) and remixed tracks for bands like U2, Lenny Kravitz and MGMT (for which they won no less than a Grammy). A mix for a Dior Homme fashion show was also recorded during that time (‘Planisphère’ appears as an iTunes bonus track).

On first listening it sounds like the French duo have been influenced by the hairspray loving glam rock era and try to replicate its sound on tracks like ‘Horsepower, Canon’and the mischievous‘Brianvision’ (think guitar solos on synths). Fans of their earlier ‘poptronica’ sound may be disappointed with the album, but they must be credited for not reproducing their debut. While it doesn’t have the brilliance of ‘D.A.N.C.E.’or funk of ‘Genesis’, the Parisian outfit manage to keep their sound that made them a household name.

Having said that, Audio, Video, Disco doesn’t reach the same heights as Cross and for the most part the album remains a slow paced affair. The pick of the tracks is undoubtedly ‘Civilization’whichfeatures vocals from Ali Love, who also did the vocals for The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Do It Again’. The album is improved by the penultimate ‘Helix’,which somehow successfully manages to fuse the 1970’s krautrock sound of bands like Harmonia, with the aforementioned stadium rock sound that consistently appears throughout. The über-catchy final track, ‘Audio, Video, Disco’, manages to finally up the tempo in what is probably the most radio friendly track. With Queen-esque handclaps fused with vocoded vocals, ‘Parade’also deserves a mention.

On the whole, the term ‘second album syndrome’ springs to mind, but in years to come AVD may be classed as the better of other albums with the lofty ambition of following up over-whelming debuts. Having said this, Audio, Video, Disco can be considered a slow burner and merits repeated listening.

 Stephen Miller