Cross (Justice album)

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Justice - Cross (2007).jpg
Studio album by Justice
Released 18 June 2007
Recorded 2005–06 in Paris, France
Length 48:13
  • Gaspard Augé
  • Xavier de Rosnay
Justice chronology

A Cross the Universe
Singles from
  1. "Waters of Nazareth"
    Released: 14 September 2005
  2. "D.A.N.C.E."
    Released: 23 April 2007
  3. "DVNO"
    Released: 24 March 2008
  4. "Phantom II"
    Released: 26 November 2007
  5. "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy"
    Released: 9 February 2009

(pronounced and alternatively known as Cross; considered self-titled on several countries' iTunes Stores[1][2]) is the debut studio album by French electronic music duo Justice. It was first released on 18 June 2007 through Ed Banger Records and Because Music in most countries and Vice Records in the United States.

Recorded during 2005 and 2006 in Paris, Cross was aimed to be an "opera-disco" album. It features many samples and "microsamples" throughout, with about 400 albums being used as sampled material. The song "D.A.N.C.E." was inspired by and dedicated to Michael Jackson. French musican DVNO and vocalist Uffie both make appearances on the album as featured artists for "DVNO" and "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy", respectively.

Cross was supported by the singles "Waters of Nazareth", "D.A.N.C.E.", "DVNO", "Phantom", and "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy". A controversial music video was also released for "Stress". Upon release, it received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success, reaching number 11 on the French albums chart and number one on the UK and US dance album charts. The album was nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album and "D.A.N.C.E." was nominated for Best Dance Recording and Best Video at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Cross was later certified gold in the UK on 9 December 2011, for passing shipments of 100,000 copies.[3]

Background and promotion[edit]

Cross was recorded in Paris during 2005 and 2006.[4] The concept for the album was for it to be an "opera-disco" album. Xavier de Rosnay stated about the opera disco concept:

We stuck to our original idea to make a 2007 opera-disco album, even if we are conscious that some tracks don't sound like proper disco at first listen. The best example is the song "Waters of Nazareth", which does not sound like disco when you listen to it for the first time. But if you forget that everything is distorted, the bass lines are just really basic disco patterns.[5]

Two songs were released as singles before the album's release. "Waters of Nazareth" was the first single released by the group in 2005 and featured "Let There Be Light" as its B-side. "D.A.N.C.E." was the second single from the album released on 23 April 2007. The single also featured the song "Phantom", which was also released on the Ed Rec Vol. 2 compilation album prior to the release of this album. The song "D.A.N.C.E." is about and dedicated to Michael Jackson.[6] A music video for the song "Stress", directed by Romain Gavras, was released on 1 May 2008 through the website of rapper Kanye West.[7] It was subject to heavy criticism upon release and received a ban from French television due to its violent content.[7][8]

There are three credited samples present on the album: "You Make Me Wanna Wiggle" by The Brothers Johnson was sampled for "Newjack", "Tenebre (main theme)" by Goblin was sampled for "Phantom" and "Phantom Pt. II", and "Night on Disco Mountain" by David Shire was sampled for "Stress". However, the band has stated there are many samples in the form of "microsamples" present on the album which the author of the original composition would not recognize their work was sampled.[5] De Rosnay stated that as many as 400 albums were used as sampled material and spoke about the microsampling process:

...we do sample really small bits of things that nobody can recognize. Say we use the "In Da Club" hand clap - not even 50 Cent would notice but if you listen to "Genesis", the first track [on Cross], there are samples of Slipknot, Queen and 50 Cent, but they are such short samples no one can recognize them. The ones from Slipknot, for example, are just tiny bits of the voice.[9]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 81/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club A−[12]
Blender 4/5 stars[13]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[14]
NME 6/10[15]
The Observer 5/5 stars[16]
Pitchfork Media 8.4/10[17]
PopMatters 8/10[18]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[19]
Uncut 4/5 stars[20]

Cross received critical acclaim from critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews and ratings from mainstream critics, the album received a metascore of 81 based on 25 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[10] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone stated that "with loads of melodrama and not a moment of subtlety, Justice define the new-jacques swing."[19] Jess Harvell of Pitchfork Media called the album a "harsh and mostly instrumental set that nonetheless plays like the ideal crossover electronic-pop record", noting that "Justice knows how to sequence a dance album to avoid drag and boredom."[17] Michaelangelo Matos of The A.V. Club described it as "an engaging study in contrasts and a killer party record."[12] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave the album an honorable mention ((2-star Honorable Mention)) rating,[21] indicating a "likable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well enjoy".[22] Christgau stated: "As dance music, not my idea of a good time, but as electronic pop, so much trickier, sillier and more kinetic than Kraftwerk."[21]

At the 50th Grammy Awards, Cross was nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album, while "D.A.N.C.E." was nominated for Best Dance Recording and Best Video. The album was also nominated for the 2007 Shortlist Prize, eventually losing out to The Reminder by Feist. Cross was ranked at second place by Planet Sound in their Best Albums of 2007 list.[citation needed] Pitchfork Media placed Cross at number 15 on their Top 50 Albums of 2007 list,[23] as well as at number 107 on their list of the top 200 albums of the 2000s.[24] Rolling Stone ranked it at number 24 on their list of the 30 Greatest EDM Albums of All Time.[25] The album has been included in the book compilation 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[26]

In popular culture[edit]

The track "Genesis" has been sampled several times throughout mainstream media. It was featured in an episode of the television series Shark and in television advertisements for Cadillac and Levi's. The song also appears in Electronic Arts' video game Need for Speed: Undercover, was used in a gameplay trailer for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II and was featured in Sony PlayStation's PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale E3 trailer as well as the SDCC and Gamescom trailers, "Genesis" also appears in the trailer and ending credits of the films Echelon Conspiracy and Punisher: War Zone. It was featured in episodes of Top Gear, in series 13, episode 3, where Jeremy Clarkson tests the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series and series 17, episode 1, where he tests the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. It was used for a BMW promotional video of the M3. It is also featured on the cinema advertisement for series 3 of the E4 comedy The Inbetweeners. "Genesis" also appeared on the Season 5 Top 10 of America's Got Talent for Fighting Gravity's act. It has also been used numerous times during Formula 1 Grand Prix racing TV coverage as background music during narrated informational segments prior to the race. It was also featured on an episode of the BBC crime drama Silent Witness in series 18.

"Phantom Pt. II" was used for a Telus commercial in 2007, as the intro music to Channel 5's Football Italiano, sampled by Swizz Beatz for a 2010 Gucci Mane song called "Gucci Time", and featuring in Richard Hammond's review of the Holden Maloo ute during an episode of Top Gear. The Soulwax remix of the track was the final boss track in Tap Tap Dance. The song was also in a commercial for Modern Marvels exclusively for view on H2.[27]

"Waters of Nazareth" appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV under the Electro Choc radio station and in DJ Hero 2. Jay-Z's song "On to the Next One" from the album The Blueprint 3 features a sample of "D.A.N.C.E.". The Game also used a sample of "Genesis" in his song "American Dreams". "Genesis" appears in multiple set lists in the DJ Hero video game. "Newjack" was featured in the Cartoon Network block "You Are Here", at the beginning of the program. "Let There Be Light" is featured in the video game Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. "D.A.N.C.E" is also featured in Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2, Just Dance 2 and Forza Horizon 3. The song was also used in college basketball commercial for ESPN as part of its "It's Not Crazy, It's Sports" promotion. "Stress" is used in the soundtrack of the video game NBA 2K13.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Genesis"   3:54
2. "Let There Be Light"   4:55
3. "D.A.N.C.E."   4:02
4. "Newjack"   3:36
5. "Phantom"   4:22
6. "Phantom Pt. II"   3:20
7. "Valentine"   2:56
8. "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy" (featuring Uffie) 4:03
9. "DVNO" (featuring Mehdi Pinson) 3:56
10. "Stress"   4:58
11. "Waters of Nazareth"   4:25
12. "One Minute to Midnight"   3:41
Japanese bonus track
No. Title Length
13. "D.A.N.C.E." (rehearsal version) 4:29

All songs written by Justice, except:
"D.A.N.C.E.", co-written by Jessie Chaton,
"Tthhee Ppaarrttyy", co-written with Uffie and Feadz, and
"DVNO", co-written by Mehdi Pinson.[28]

"Newjack" – "You Make Me Wanna Wiggle" (1980) by the Brothers Johnson
"Phantom" and "Phantom Pt. II" – "Tenebre" (1982) by Goblin, from the Dario Argento film of the same name
"Stress" – "Night on Disco Mountain" (1977) by David Shire[29] and Jocko Homo (music video introduction) by Devo

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2007–10) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[30] 61
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[31] 71
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[32] 33
Belgian Alternative Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[32] 21
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[33] 29
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[34] 77
Dutch Alternative Albums (MegaCharts)[34] 12
French Albums (SNEP)[35] 11
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[36] 56
Irish Albums (IRMA)[37] 60
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[38] 43
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[39] 25
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[40] 36
UK Albums (OCC)[41] 49
UK Dance Albums (OCC)[42] 1
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[43] 48
US Dance/Electronic Albums[44] 1


  1. ^ "Justice de Justice sur iTunes". iTunes Store (France). Apple Inc. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  2. ^ ""Justice" von Justice in iTunes". iTunes Store (Germany). Apple Inc. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "BPI Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  4. ^ (Cross) (album liner notes). Justice. Ed Banger Records / Because Music. 2007. 
  5. ^ a b cross examinations. Remix Magazine Online. Retrieved on 5 July 2009.
  6. ^ The DJ Q&A with Justice Retrieved on 18 June 2007.
  7. ^ a b Iverson, Jeffrey T. (18 May 2008). "Uproar Over French Music Video". Time. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "2. Justice "Stress" – The 100 Best Music Videos of the 2000s". Complex. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  9. ^ French Duo Justice Reveal Songwriting, Sampling Secrets: 50 Cent, Slipknot Take Note! MTV Canada. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Reviews for Cross by Justice". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "Cross – Justice". AllMusic. 
  12. ^ a b Matos, Michaelangelo (10 July 2007). "Justice: †". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 24 August 2008. 
  13. ^ Dombal, Ryan. "Justice: †". Blender. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (8 June 2007). "Justice, †". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Naylor, Tony (1 June 2007). "Justice: †". NME. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  16. ^ Boden, Sarah (20 May 2007). "Justice, †". The Observer. London. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Harvell, Jess (12 June 2007). "Justice: †". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  18. ^ Sawdey, Evan (2 July 2007). "Justice: Cross". PopMatters. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (1 August 2007). "Cross: Justice (electro)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  20. ^ Pattison, Louis (13 June 2007). "Justice – †". Uncut. London. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 2008). Consumer Guide: . MSN Music. Archived from the original on 20 November 2010.
  22. ^ Christgau, Robert. CG 90s: Key to Icons. Retrieved on 20 November 2009.
  23. ^ Pitchfork Feature: Top 50 Albums of 2007 Archived 19 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Pitchfork staff (28 September 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200–151". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  25. ^ "The 30 Greatest EDM Albums of All Time" Retrieved 4 October 2012.
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  31. ^ " – Justice – †" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  32. ^ a b " – Justice – †" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  33. ^ " – Justice – †" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  34. ^ a b " – Justice – †" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  35. ^ " – Justice – †". Hung Medien.
  36. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  37. ^ "Discography Justice". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  38. ^ "+ (Cross)" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  39. ^ " – Justice – †". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  40. ^ " – Justice – †". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  41. ^ "Justice | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  42. ^ "Official Dance Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  43. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  44. ^ "Justice – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 

External links[edit]