So why is Justice’s Cross on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
So, the first thing that’s natural to wonder about Justice is whether their stuff is defined as “religious music,” due mostly to the use of the Christian cross on many of their album covers (with this one here flat out named Cross), and then also some of their song titles tend to lend themselves to religiosity e.g. “Genesis” and “Waters of Nazareth.”
The short answer: it’s not “religious music,” at least in terms of how it’s traditionally defined.
Xavier De Ronsay, one half of the French duo (the other member of Justice is Gaspard Augé), has a rather fascinating take on the topic:
We’re definitely not attached to religion in that we’re trying to be a Christian band or whatever. Everyone is welcome to our shows, of course! But personally, I don’t think the symbol can be separated from religion, and that’s okay. The way we make our tracks is to have this kind of religious feeling happening – in the way that we gather people. Music is one of those things – especially when you play big venues – that can gather a lot of people and make them all do the same thing, look in the same direction. That’s also a big point of any religion.
de Rosnay goes onto describe Justice’s music as “futuristic gospel,” which is really kind of wonderful.
From my standpoint, I’m a huge fan of electro house with hard, crunchy hooks, and the entirety of Cross delivers on that score in addition to providing a huge array of other eclectic influences. All Music describes it as follows: “It’s a grimy mix of dancehall, techno, ’80s R&B, and lounge with Clockwork Orange synths, deadly static crunches, hard-hitting kicks, grinding groans, and a spliced Off the Wall slap-popping bass.”
Clockwork Orange synths, real horror show!
The crunchy electro hooks I mention are bursting out of tracks like “Phantom.” This one is a workout mainstay for me. I’m mostly an aerobics equipment at the gym kind of guy, and more recently I added a rowing machine to my home gym during “covid times.” The exceptional energy of “Phantom” helps to put me into something almost like a meditative trance while working out really hard to the beat set by the song.
And then “Phantom Pt. II” extends on that theme, bringing in a fantastic melody on top of the beat and thumping bass line.
Of all the songs on Cross, “Let There Be Light” gets stuck in my head the most often, simply because its electro house vibe is super compelling and catchy.
“D.A.N.C.E.” brings a very different side to Justice – delightful disco funk-meets-electro groove – with the same kind of big energy, and it’s simply delightful.
In my notes created during the research phase for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, I jotted down the following about “One Minute To Midnight”: “It should be on like every weird/dark movie soundtrack ever.” Just(ice) listen to it and see if you agree.
Some stats & info about Justice – Cross
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Electronic Music, Dance Music, Electro House
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Cross released? 2007
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #343 out of 1,000
Justice’s Cross on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.