Album: Faithless

No Roots, Cheeky
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The Independent Culture

Faithless's Outrospective, says their press release, outsold offerings from Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx, presumably putting them at the forefront of UK dance. Odd, then, that for this follow-up they decided to move away from that album's eclecticism in favour of a more unified approach. So: no reggae beats, no Latin-house grooves, no Philly-soul numbers. In fact, nothing that's not in the key of C - a strategy whose potential for throwing out the baby with the bathwater is unfortunately realised. Part of the problem lies in Sister Bliss taking almost all the hands-on instrumental duties: withoutcontrasting ideas her parts start to sound similar, with few compelling melodies to distinguish tracks. Things aren't helped by the decision to sequence the album as just two segued suites. It seems like one long, endlessly cycling trance-house keyboard groove, while Maxi Jazz and the rapper LSK declaim upon romantic attraction, spiritual satisfaction and collective action. Bestare the social-realist commentaries "In the End", "I Want More" and "Mass Destruction", the last addressing attitudes as well as arms: "Whether Halliburton, Enron or anyone/ Greed is a weapon of mass destruction".