Following up a debut album of the calibre and invention of Justice’s 2007 effort Cross, was always going to be difficult. It was made more so by the gap between that and Audio, Video, Disco, released this month.
On first listen, the album is a somewhat disappointing endeavour. Whereas the discord of Cross was endearing, and set Justice apart from their competitors in the world of electronic music, Audio, Video, Disco is just a little bit annoying. Second albums are always difficult, but there isn’t much to shout about, and certainly no single with the potential of the enduringly popular D.A.N.C.E.
Opening track “Horsepower” lacks the panache of “Genesis”, its predecessor on Cross, and the album in general feels lighter, a fact admitted by half of the Justice duo, Xavier De Rosnay.
The album is quite a relaxed affair, all told, and credit should probably be given to the French duo for attempting a fairly significant change of course. Whereas Cross was frenetic and stood out, Audio, Video, Disco is mellower and sadly this is its undoing. With the world of electronic music dominated by multi-million pound producers and a very similar, grating sound, Justice could have reasserted themselves to an audience whose memories may not stretch back as far as four years ago.
They do seem to have missed an opportunity, however, to properly follow up their critically-lauded debut. It may not grate like David Guetta, but it certainly doesn’t excite in the way their first album, or fellow French electro pioneers Daft Punk, managed to.