Justice Audio, Video, Disco

Justice Audio, Video, Disco
Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay didn't make crafting Audio, Video, Disco easy on themselves. In the wake of the skull-crushing, body-moving Cross, the French electronic duo known as Justice left themselves with the task of satisfying fans looking for more of their signature, earth-shattering noise while moving forward in a way that wouldn't leave them pigeonholed. In many ways, they've succeeded: first single "Civilization" channels Cross without aping it and "Ohio" turns down the noise in favour of a harmony-laden intro that makes way for a measured, almost cerebral take on Ratatat. The Ratatat influence is felt elsewhere, such as in the whammy-bar guitar noodling of "Brianvision" and on the arpeggiated "On'n'On," which manages to sneak a flute solo almost seamlessly into its electronic fabric. But there's much that Justice fans will find divisive here besides a simple flute solo. The Supertramp-y pop of "New Lands" is too cheese-ball for those who like their house dark and gritty, and the centrality of pop-oriented vocals throughout the album could be a turn-off for the same reasons. Have Justice failed to live up to the hype on their second album? Not entirely, as it's easy to see people hating and liking this album in equal measure. The problem is it's hard to imagine anybody loving it. (Ed Banger)