Posted on December 9th, 2008 (2:26 pm) by Elle Malan

This is it folks - Justice has done what so few have been able to successfully do. Via their release of their live album, A Cross the Universe, the French duo have likened themselves to another very well known French house act that goes by the name of Daft Punk. Without a doubt, live records are difficult; they need to draw your attention in by bringing something new to music that’s been heard countless times before. On A Cross the Universe, Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Auge do just that by throwing down a heavily varied version of their debut album plus a couple remixes. Each track is chopped, shaken, sliced and diced for one of the most EPIC electro house albums in recent memory.

Making you feel as if you were in the venue itself, A Cross the Universe begins with a couple tense moments of audience chatter. Oddly enough, it’s not obnoxious at all - it’s exhilarating to hear the excitement of everyone at the show. In reality, the crowd is one of the elements that makes this album – without it, chances are, you’d feel like you were listening to a Justice remixes album.

After a minute and a half of waiting, Justice’s trademark intro horns boom throughout the venue and the crowd goes fucking wild. “Genesis” follows pulling the crowd back in with those notorious beats that shot the French elector-bangers to fame a year or so ago. After a little while, “Phantom Part 1.5” mixes with “D.A.N.C.E.” in such a way that I personally never thought was possible; while most of today’s djs will just crossfade one track into another with a tempo change here and there, Justice starts mixing the tracks together a full minute ahead of time. It all begins with a sprinkle of vocals and a Daft Punk-esque piano progression. Then almost two minutes in the beat drops. By “D.A.N.C.E Part 2,” I was so enraptured by the beat that I literally forgot I was listening to an album. At the end of the song, Justice drops the treble out entirely for about thirty seconds then turns it up again to mix into “DVNO.” Without a doubt, this is one of the best parts of the entire record. Like a tidal wave of sound, “DVNO’s” giant bass presence hits at exactly the right second and blows the audience away.

After the climax of “DVNO,” the set tones down a bit with “The Waters Of Nazareth (prelude).” The track is just a little two-minute nugget, but it has this great slow, heavy beat. “Two Minutes To Midnight” is fine, but definitely not one of the album’s gems; it seems more like filler or an intro to “TTHHEE PPAARRTTY,” which really does pull the crowd back into the chaos. Unlike the other songs, “TTHHEE PPAARRTTY” seems to get deconstructed rather than built up. “Let There Be Lite” then continues with the tail end of its predecessor and quickly builds into a banger of its own reckoning.

While nearing the end of the album (when the music becomes devastatingly good), “Stress” pulls what sounds like a score to an intense movie scene which eventually submerges itself into their signature harsh beats. Once the record reaches “We Are Your Friends (Reprise)” the music takes on a revolutionary feel that the crowd quickly picks up on.

“We are your friends
You, never be alone again
Well, come on
Come on…”

Justice’s little sing-along herein makes for one of the best parts of the entire show, especially because it acts as the final break down before the album’s close. The next twenty minutes can only be described as epic, as Justice throw down an extra-lengthy version of “Phantom Pt. 2,” a remix of Soulwax’s “NY Excuse” and a House version of Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets.” The great part about this album is that it never sinks into the monotony that two hours of electronic music can create. There is so much variation on this record, that one listen just won’t suffice. Give A Cross the Universe a spin, and I guarantee that you’ll be back for more.

1. Intro
2. Genesis
3. Phantom Part 1
4. Phantom Part 1.5
5. D.A.N.C.E.
6. D.A.N.C.E. Part 2
8. Waters Of Nazareth
9. One Minute To Midnight
10. Tthhee Ppaarrttyy
11. Let There Be Lite
12. Stress
13. We Are Your Friends (Reprises)
14. Waters Of Nazareth
15. Phantom Part 2
16. Encore
17. NY Excuse (Soulwax/Justice Remix)
18. Justice X Metallica

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

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