Each week, Sunday School takes a second look at a classic album worth revisiting years after its release. EMMIE staff handpick releases that shaped a genre, defined a generation or deserve recognition despite being left in the distance. Keep up with Sunday School for your weekly dose of dusted-off classics and throwbacks that merit a second spin.
Release Date: June 11, 2007
Good For: Cramming for finals, partying, your next alarm or ring tone
Standout Tracks: “D.A.N.C.E”, “The Party”, “Let There be Light”
Are you searching for an album that will keep you coming back, bobbing your head, and dancing for hours? You’ve found it in Justice’s 2007 release Cross. Overall Cross melds genres of electro pop, disco and EDM into 45 minutes of funky beats that are worth multiple listens. Cross was voted 15th in Pitchfork’s “The 50 Best Albums of 2007,” and it has absolutely stood the test of time since then.
There are 12 tracks on Cross, each of which plays into the album’s disco-opera theme in its own way. Such a theme may seem strange but the execution is very good, which is why this album has been used in mainstream media and reached number one on the US Dance Charts. In the media, the song “Genesis” has been used in commercials for Cadillac and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II. “D.A.N.C.E.” has also shared the spotlight in the game Just Dance 2, and other places. Cross exceeded expectations with critics as well, earning many high scoring reviews and nominations in 2007.
By far the best part about this album is the way the tracks flow seamlessly together. It feels as if Justice wanted listeners to feel like they were at their show rather than listening to an album. There are no awkward gaps between songs. Rather, they compliment each other, making the entire album very fun to listen to. Changes in the “scenes of the opera” can be heard that support the theme like “Valentine,” which clearly takes a break from the hard-disco beats of the earlier tracks, as if to set listeners up for their next voyage into Justice’s sound.
Compliments must also be given to Justice for sampling over 400 albums on Cross. The skill required to to micro-sample, which means to take split-second bits of songs from one artist and include them in a different song, is immense. The sounds on Cross are robust, from thumping bass lines to distorted melodies that demand attention. Simply put, the album has something for everyone and is wonderfully layered and produced.
This album has a reputation and lives up to it. It has something for fans of all types of electronic music and will keep you coming back over and over. Justice hit a home run on their first release and deserve all the praise they have received for this album. From start to finish, Cross stands the test of time.