Certainly no one could accuse Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay of rushing a record. The pair behind Justice took four years between albums one and two, and then five years between albums two and three. For those that were disappointed by that second— 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco — then it is best to keep your hopes low for the brand new LP, Woman. Anyone hoping to have the group blow them out of the water, like Justice did to so many with their 2007 debut, will have to recalibrate their expectations.

Woman does start on an exceptionally strong note. The ethereal and heavenly start to lead single ‘Safe And Sound’ quickly gives way to a slap bass, accentuated with snaps and a four-on-the-floor beat. It is a packed with epic flourishes and powerful ripples of disco, which almost gives one the illusion they are back listening to the band’s first record. It becomes clear before too long that this is Justice’s goal throughout the whole ten-track project. A smooth segue flawlessly transitions listeners from ‘Safe And Sound’ to ‘Pleasure,’ another snappy pop highlight with an eye toward 2007’s Cross. ‘Alakazam!’ and ‘Fire’ both keep the trend going, but the wavers in quality become much more noticeable. Rehashing the 2007 formula can only hold one’s attention for so long.

The undisputed highlight of Woman comes on ‘Stop'. The band effortlessly blends their trademark bass sound with a burst of 80s keys, all the while delivering one of their all-time best choruses; “Take us to the top,” they sing, “So many nights, so many memories.” The song’s mellow approach is imbued with just enough of the band’s insatiable funk that you’ll want to spin this one again and again.

Unfortunately, the new LP hits a wall after ‘Stop’, when the album’s longest song, ‘Chorus’, comes onto the scene. The industrial-slanting track is an absolute slog, with wordless choral cooing and the album’s worst instrumentals taking this thing absolutely nowhere across its seven-minute runtime.

Justice struggles to recapture the early album mojo from there on in. ‘Randy’ is a disappointing choice for a second single, and while the haunted house organ of ‘Heavy Metal’ does lend itself well to French electro, it does not do much to pop the song otherwise, and ‘Love S.O.S.’ is buoyed largely by an air raid siren that gave me a headache after the song’s full five minutes. Fortunately, the group does manage to finish strong with the reserved and calm beauty of ‘Close Call’. But by then, the damage has largely been done.

Justice has struggled and continues to struggle to recapture so much of what made them so great nine years ago. When they get closest to recapturing those vibes, it seems to be the product of rehashing old formulas. Woman is by no means a bad listen, it just isn’t a very original one either.