Woman Worldwide is the latest drop from Parisian electro-house duo Justice, offering a collection of reinvented studio recordings based on live versions from their discography.
Justice are known for mesmerising and visually astounding live performances so hearing they’ve attempted to package that whole atmosphere and experience into audio form, you can’t help but be intrigued.
Live shows are generally built on a foundation of hit songs, select new stuff and the odd cover or remix. Add to that typical live interference like distortion, crowd noise and even the odd audio mishap; this is what Justice have tried to recreate with Woman Worldwide, something that captured a live show, but minus the interference.
Woman Worldwide is a selection of past jams predominantly from 2016’s Woman, plus tasters from 2007’s † and 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco, all seamlessly tethered to adjacent tracks. Their killer 2006 remix of Simian’s Never Be Alone (renamed We Are Your Friends) also makes a welcomed addition. Except for a few remixes, there’s nothing particularly new and despite songs being reworked, it largely just feels like a compilation album.
Although early releases Chorus (WWW), Randy (WWW) and D.A.N.C.E. x Fire x Safe and Sound (WWW) are quite different to their originals, they are the exceptions on Woman Worldwide. Too many tracks just sound too similar to originals, leaving them a little stale. They’ve certainly tweaked some more than others but whether it’s enough to justify the album is the question. Tracks like opener Safe and Sound (WWW), Stop (WWW) and Love S.O.S. (WWW) don’t seem to differ or feel any fresher, nor sound any more live, than originals, leaving you wondering if Woman Worldwide was actually worth it.
Combination remixes such as Heavy Metal x DVNO (WWW) and Alakazam ! x Fire (WWW) seem little more than a short version of one playing, albeit seamlessly, into the next. Despite this, they’re still classic Justice bangers and you can’t deny snips like intros in Genesis x Phantom (WWW), Stress (WWW) and Randy (WWW), or the drop in Chorus (WWW) aren’t bloody awesome.
Only in Genesis x Phantom (WWW) and D.A.N.C.E. x Fire x Safe and Sound (WWW) does the live style mashup really kick in, while Stress (WWW), Chorus (WWW) and Randy (WWW) get a sweet industrial adjustment, and a cowbell to boot in the latter. It’s the spontaneity of these tracks that catches you off guard and gives Woman Worldwide some of that live energy, while also adding some new-ish sounding tracks to the album.
Like live shows, the best comes later with Waters of Nazareth x We Are your Friends x Phantom 2 (WWW), Chorus (WWW) and encore closer D.A.N.C.E. x Fire x Safe and Sound (WWW) all occurring towards the 15-tracker’s end. Each gets a bass and tempo injection, morphing them into undeniable dancefloor bangers.
Overall, it’s a good album but feels a little underwhelming in parts, and it seems there’s more to creating a great live atmosphere and experience than just the music. Without that visual experience, and possibly even that interference too, it’s hard to appreciate Woman Worldwide as something new because it isn’t. There’s just not enough to ignite the flame within.
They’ve succeeded in creating a neat album but has justice been delivered in Woman Worldwide? Unfortunately, not. If you’re after a best of style compilation, Woman Worldwide offers a well-crafted selection of Justice’s best that’ll give you the fix you’re looking for, otherwise it’ll ultimately leave you wondering if it was worth it.