Friday, 18 March 2011

Artist Retrospective : Faithless

So it ends. After over sixteen years together, Faithless, my favourite band, have decided to bring their collaboration to a close. Originally never intended to last so long, the partnership of rapper Maxi Jazz, producers Rollo and Sister Bliss and, early on, singer Jamie Catto proved to be a formula made in heaven.  They are a band mostly known for their more uptempo house tracks with a strong melody, most of which are absolutely classic, particularly "Insomnia" and "Salva Mea" from the Reverence album.  Yet their work is much more than that.

Their albums have for the most part balanced their housey moments with what for lack of a better term is usually called "trip-hop", either upbeat and funky or slower and more contemplative.  Usually these tracks are where their strongest moments are, and the albums in which these tracks lack impact are the albums which are less memorable.  The house tracks are always good, but it's the trip-hop that stands out as giving Faithless their unique personality, with Maxi Jazz providing the showmanship and Rollo and Bliss the extremely tight soundtrack.

Over the next few weeks I will review Faithless' six full albums in honour of their career, mark where they achieved greatness and where they fell short of their best.  I hope that Maxi and Bliss in particular keep making music, whatever direction they take.

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