Hyperdrama by Justice | Album Review

The French electronic duo adds glitz and glamour to their fourth studio album.

Mark Chinapen
Modern Music Analysis
4 min readApr 26, 2024

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Listen to Hyperdrama: Apple Music | Spotify

I guess you could say I’m on a French electronic wave lately. Just last week I reviewed Gessafelstein’s album Gamma, and now I’m taking a look at Justice’s latest offering Hyperdrama. It’s also a coincidence that both artists also performed at Coachella in the last few weeks, as evidenced by this group photo they took together.

Besides all of that, Hyperdrama has been something I’ve been fairly anticipating since Justice announced the album back in January. Especially when you consider that this is the French duo’s first offering since 2016’s Woman (excluding their 2019 remix album Woman Worldwide). Their blend of dance meets prog-rock sets them apart from the likes of say Daft Punk, and their eclectic discography cements that idea with tunes such as “D.A.N.C.E.” or “We Are Your Friends”.

On Hyperdrama, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay take Justice to new, gargantuan heights. Adding flairs of disco and techno into their heavy-hitting style. Alongside some notable guest features that add even more substance to the album, Hyperdrama is a much-needed welcome back for the French duo that was well worth the wait.

There’s a glimmering feeling in the production throughout Hyperdrama that contrasts with the duo’s grittier sound that they started with on 2007’s Cross. Justice sounds cleaner as they do away with a lot of their usual distortions in favour of glitzy synths and four-on-the-floor beats. Tracks like “Incognito” check off all those boxes. Some of their older quirks are still apparent though, such as the chopped-up pacing heard on “Explorer” or the ear-ringing vibes of “Generator”.

Hyperdrama is also much slower compared to previous releases, allowing for some tracks to fully engulf listeners into their sonics. “Muscle Memory” uses fluttering synths that build into a retro-futuristic anthem of a song. “Moonlight Rendez-vous” features a sultry saxophone, reminiscent of Vangelis’ work on the Blade Runner soundtrack. While I appreciate Justice’s way of enveloping listeners, it does come with a price: A majority of tracks run on much longer than needed. The upbeat party jams of “Dear Alan” die off halfway through its 6-minute run time. Shaving off a couple of minutes on some songs like the aforementioned could’ve easily helped.

The guest spots on Hyperdrama are an added bonus and the musicians featured here fit quite well with Justice’s style. Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shows up on “Neverender” and “One Night/All Night”. His melodic touch gives the respective songs a bit more nuance, and his falsetto works nicely with both song’s disco influence. Miguel brings a sleek element to “Saturnine”, while singer RIMON bleeds into the background of the synth-wave goodness of “Afterimage”.

Other contributions include The Flints, whose vocoded vocals on “Mannequin Love” are merely another instrument on the groovy track. Thundercat appears on the album's hard-hitting closer “The End”. He caps the album off with some foreboding passages: (“This is the end, and I remember this feeling. It’s like I can’t speak and then I feel weak.”). A fitting conclusion to Hyperdrama that leaves the future of Justice a little open-ended. Is this it for Augé and Rosnay? or perhaps the start of a new chapter for Justice?

There are some inconsistencies with Hyperdrama, although they didn’t ruin the experience but they are worth mentioning. Aside from some songs overstaying their welcome, I found the mixing (particularly with a few of the guest-featured tracks) to be a bit odd. Oftentimes the production overshadows the singer where they become way too discernable. It's something I can get over but it does make listening back to some tracks slightly jarring.

Other than that, I have nothing but positivity for Hyperdrama. It feels like a refreshing take on Justice’s repertoire of French house music/dance/techno. Surely this change from a gritter, raw style to this cleaner and succinct sound might turn off longtime fans. However, if you go into Hyperdrama with open arms you’ll be met with a handful of synthy grooves from the duo.

For my final rating, I’m giving Hyperdrama a solid 8.5 to 9/10. Aside from a few discrepancies in its runtime and mixing, this album was a blast to listen to from start to finish. I think with its overall style and guest features, Hyperdrama might introduce some new fans to Justice while giving older fans something different to dive into.

Final Rating: 8.5 to 9/10.

Favourite Tracks: Neverender, Generator, Afterimage, One Night/All Night, Incognito, Muscle Memory, Saturnine, The End.

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Mark Chinapen
Modern Music Analysis

I like to pretend I’m a critic. Writer and editor for Modern Music Analysis