It seems to be impossible to discuss Justice without comparing them to Daft Punk, but in all honesty the two are quite distinct entities in the French House scene. The duo’s 2007 debut Cross was an explosive record featuring beats far more audacious and upfront than Daft Punk’s more tempered pieces. Unlike their more robotic counterparts, calling Justice a thinking man’s dance group would’ve been a bit too far a stretch; Justice was making music purely for the adrenaline. Despite this strong start, Justice continually tried to escape comparison and become known as a unique group, efforts that became very obvious in their sound. 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco saw the group holding back on their dance floor aggression and incorporating elements of classic and progressive rock music. With Woman, they continue to pull influences from the music of the past: this time whilst retaining the adrenaline-pumping approach that made Cross so enjoyable.
This time, Justice pulls their sound from that of older dance-funk records, incorporating more analogue synths and live instrumentation. It’s a sonic shift not too unlike Random Access Memories, but again there’s a distinct difference in approach; the duo’s production sounds much heavier and overblown, with layers upon layers of distorted funk bass and keys. Woman also continues to incorporate featured vocalists, adding an element of melody to the mix. Again their arrangements are far from sophisticated – often the singers sing short, quick hooks that repeat over themselves as much as the instrumentation below them. The propulsive grooves are undeniable from one track to the next, and the leave almost no time for a listener to catch their breath. They manage a perfect balance between their older influences and the digitally charged EDM of the present decade, a feat that few are ever able to pull off. Even if they may be doomed to be remembered as Daft Punk’s kin, Justice at least refuses to go down without a fight.