Audio, Video, Disco
The Alan Parson’s Project on acid. That’s what I was thinking 30 seconds after “Horsepower,” the arresting opening track of the new Justice album—Audio, Video, Disco—started to pound its way out of my home stereo speakers. Indeed, if you’ve spent any time reading recent interviews with Justice masterminds Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé and you’ve any idea who Alan Parsons is, then my opening reduction is not only spot on, but it’s one Justice would relish. Then of course there’s the accompanying PR packet I received where Justice, in their own words, present their sophomore album track-by-track, pointing out nearly everywhere they can that, even though they are subpar musicians, they’ve made a record that unapologetically pays homage to the biggest masturbatory arena-prog-rock perfectionists of the 1970s, whose musicianship, long-windedness, and attention to detail became a source of scrutiny from rock critics the world over.
There is no disco on Audio, Video, Disco. None whatsoever. That’s a disappointment, for sure. But after you get over the initial shock of there being no “D.A.N.C.E.” or “DVNO” on this confident sophomore effort, it turns into something, well, something pretty fucking awesome. The record’s first single “Civilization” is a colossal fist-pumper, while the title track sounds like an ELO tune being yanked through video game programming code. “Brianvision” is a Justice tribute to Brian May of Queen, while “Ohio” is a self-described love letter to Crosby, Stills & Nash. In fact, the entire record is a love letter, which is evidently the kind of album Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé set out to make. On that front, it succeeds. A game-changing debut like Cross is nearly impossible to follow up, but Audio, Video, Disco is about as self-assured as a second album gets. Whether you’re a fan of the French electronic duo’s aesthetic shift or not, these tracks will be objectively bitchin’ to hear live. (www.myspace.com/etjusticepourtous)
Author rating: 6/10
Average reader rating: 7/10