Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
Never underestimate the power of a French electronic duo. When Justice released Cross on Ed Banger records, they quickly joined the ranks of Air and Daft Punk with a style all their own. Self-described as a “Disco Opera,” the music delivered on Cross sits neatly in the cross section of dark, driving electronic rhythms with melodic lightness. If you want music to motivate you, look no further. And after celebrating the 10th anniversary of this release earlier this year, their distinctive sound holds up sublimely well.
The range on this album is just cinematic. “Genesis” opens with all the foreboding of Godzilla invading Tokyo. Like many other tracks on the album (“Let There Be Light”, “Phantom”, “One Minute to Midnight”), “Genesis” features a symphony of textures created only through synthesizers. Balancing the heavy bass synths are strings featured prominently in the more disco-sounding songs such as “D.A.N.C.E.” and “Phantom Pt. II.” Some of the songs on this album are mildly grating by intention, but speak to the duo’s strength in creating a varied experience through each song. Though the catchiness of “D.A.N.C.E.” is what drew us in 10 years ago, the rich complexity of songs like “Stress” keeps us in it for the long haul.