Justice display their well-honed chops in a lush single that is skillfully crafted, if a little unremarkable.
It is worth noting, in the case of Justice, that the French duo’s singles have always had a distinct feeling of being an inseparable part of that larger entity, the album. They function in a way more traditionally associated with rock than electronica as a small but essential cog in a big, well-oiled machine. Never was this more so than on their 2011 sophomore effort, Audio, Video, Disco.; a curiously proggish entry that eschewed their established glitch in favour of a more delicate baroque pop aesthetic.
With that in mind, it becomes difficult for us to dismiss their latest single ‘Safe And Sound’ as overly repetitive and underdeveloped of its own accord since it could very well serve as a Prelude to the Suite, an Introduction to the Symphony, an Overture to the Opera of their next album. If I’m not just talking out of my arse and there does prove to be some analogous resemblance to the above, then its necessarily limited set of ideas may indeed be an integral choice of economically concise minimalism rather than simply stubborn laziness. Why otherwise would it be of such sprawling, unwieldy six-minute length? Only time will tell.
Musically it is more akin to †, employing the infectiously groovy slap-bass, disco strings, and anthemic vocals that characterised their grand, sweeping debut. Is this then a homecoming from their prog gap year? Or, more cynically, a regression to their safe but successful formula? Let’s hope neither, and that its artfully composed ebb and flow, both structural and textural, is a portent of a forward-looking third album to come; one that fuses old musical tropes with new formal unity.
‘Safe and Sound’ is out now via Genesis