There's a lot to be thankful for from the 70s, especially since many elements of disco and funk have been making a comeback over the last few years. French house duo Justice's third album Woman takes the disco influence to another level, but does it translate well in a modern setting?
What's most immediately noticeable about the record is its funkiness. 'Safe and Sound' rolls the album in, the dance vibes resonating with lots of character about the sweet bassline. You're going to want to get up and move around to this track. 'Pleasure' follows through with similar sweetness, though much more restrained and refined. There's less party in this disco and more thought into it. Another song that really brings the groove is 'Fire.'
The second of the album is much more different in terms of disco. There's some experimentation and risks taken on this half. It kicks off with the dinky, sweet synths of 'Stop,' innocently dancing above the the full bassline. The wallowing, seven-minute long epic 'Chorus' is the most invigorating track on the record, built with an urgency that none of the other songs quite reach. Perhaps its the space-opera vibe of the synths or the quickly changing parts of the song, but 'Chorus' really rings as something special in the tracklist.
For this record, all of the good moments are sadly usually paired with bad ones. There really isn't any climax on this album besides the variety of 'Chorus,' which in itself isn't particularly exciting, just interesting. There's drawn out moments like that of the six-minute 'Randy.' It's like they tried emulating the formula of 'Chorus' but in the most standard way possible.
Then there are places where some ideas just don't develop enough. 'Heavy Metal' starts off dark and with a very interesting melody and vibe. It doesn't follow through for the rest of the track, going back to the upbeat disco vibe almost out of nowhere. 'Alakazam !' is a cool instrumental, but it doesn't really add anything of interest to the album.
Justice is a prolific band, but Woman doesn't seem to support that. It's full of tastes of goodness, but there's no serving. It's lacking where it can't afford to, and the jumbled mess that it is doesn't satisfy any listening wants. Woman isn't what it could have been.
Favorite Track: Chorus
Least Favorite Tracks: Alakazam !, Close Call
Rating: 70 / 100