12) † - Justice
The method in which I pick albums for this list is a bit too haphazard for explanation. There's no order. No logic. At first, I wanted to do it chronologically- show my musical growth alongside my age. That's boring. Then I thought about finding some sort of flow- a tenuous string running from album to album. It could be done. It would be exhausting. To hell with that. So now, it's just completely random. Albums that would be dignified as "top 5" could show up whenever. This is one of them.
I have no idea how this album found its way into my collection, and I don't know how my pseudo-fetish for French electronic music began. Sure, everyone nods their heads when Daft Punk comes on somewhere. That's the point. It's electronic, but there's still such a largely dramatic pop sensibility that comes with it. It worked for a long time. Some (including me) would say it bit them in the ass on their newest album. Justice is a completely different bird of the same feather. Comprised of two art students (Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay), Justice fuses rock with disco and electronic, where Daft Punk was, up until the last album, stuck in a technodisco rut. Live instrumentation (especially live bass) abound, "Cross" is equal parts of an odd number- taking bits and pieces everything from Queen and 50 Cent to Italian prog-rock group Goblin and the soundtrack to Godzilla. Perhaps the most well-known song on the album is its opener, Genesis.
Owing more than just a little bit too Toho's "Godzilla", the hard-edged, epic 4 minute track has received it's own fair share of cinematic glory, featuring numerous movie and game trailers. It's a hell of a kickstart, but not entirely indicative of what's to come. Through the course of the album, you get poppy, pseudo-Daft Punk dance numbers like "D.A.N.C.E." (which is actually a tribute to Michael Jackson, and features one of the most visually interesting music videos ever):
One of the musically interesting things about this album is its liberal use of Slap Bass. None of it is played live (it's obviously sampled), but even just from listening to the videos I've posted (and the next ones as well), you'll see how much they use it... at least on this album. The real highlight for me, though, is the two-parter, "Phantom" and "Phantom (Pt. 2)"
Built from a sample from the soundtrack to the horror movie "Tenebre" as performed by legendary Italian prog-rock band Goblin, "Phantom" is, some say, the focal point of the album. Dark and macabre feeling (at least the first part), only to go full dance in part 2 (even Kanye shows up in the video giving his emphatic endorsement).
Hey, do you like Ke$ha? Why are you reading this then? I've clearly got nothing for you. Well, except this:
Sure, the flow is weak. But hell, Uffie is prettier, there's an awesome Three 6 Mafia sample, and it very obviously influenced "Tik Tok". Some even claim there's bits and pieces of Queen's "Radio Ga-Ga" in it. It's catchy regardless.
Honestly, this is one of the few albums I could go track by track, gushing about how much I love each one. It's an album that is best listened to beginning to end, as the transitions built into each track are fantastic as well. I love this album so much that I bought a single ticket for Lollapalooza two years ago, and was going to go by myself, just to see Justice. I didn't go, and luckily so, as there was a fucking monsoon that made the whole thing a mess, but that shows just how great they are to me.