For Justice to try and top their last live album, the Grammy award-winning ‘Across The Universe’, it was always going to be a tall order. For one: their new live album ‘Access All Arenas’ doesn’t have an eye-opening Romain Gavras documentary to seduce you into the world of a touring electronic act. And secondly: ‘Access All Arenas’ is very much still anchored by material from their first album, ‘Cross’.
But don’t dismiss it too quickly as this is far from a simple re-hash. If their last album didn’t quite kick like you wanted it to, or you didn’t exactly fall head-over-heels with the dad-ish rock vibes – then you’ll be glad to know this is Justice back doing what they do best.
What ‘Access All Arenas’ does, and it does it very successfully, is prove that too many people probably dismissed their last album, ‘Audio, Video, Disco’, too easily. Sure, it was a bit tame in places, but when you bring the new material into a live arena, splice it with old classics like ‘Genesis’ and ‘Stress’, something just clicks, suddenly it all begins to make sense.
We’ve all been here before. We all dismissed Daft Punk’s ‘Human After All’ in a similar way – only to be proved wrong with Alive 2007. And you could argue that Justice have pretty much done that same feat. Now, we’re not going to say this makes their last album better, because that wouldn’t be true, but it does prove it wasn’t the backwards step everyone thought it was. ‘Access All Arenas’ gives you a second chance to take a new perspective – it’s basically that alternate ending we’ve all wanted.
‘Access All Arenas’ has been meticulously engineered to remove any of the guff from their previous two albums. You’ll no longer have to suffer the indignity of Metallica or Uffie every again. Instead you’re treated to the tribal vocals in ‘Civilisation’; the rapturous chorus’ from ‘Newlands’ and as fitting finale ‘Audio, Video, Disco’.
By the end it’s hard not to be seduced by the duo’s brand of theatrical electro all over again. It’s been said so many times, but we’ll say it again: no-one does it like Justice, and when you listen to ‘Access All Arenas’ it couldn’t be any more true.
You can stream the album now via Spotify here.
Out worldwide May 6.