Number 8 on my list of perfect albums is a trip into Dance music (I’m assured the cool kids refer to it as EDM, but what do I know), with the debut album from Faithless, Reverence*. This blog series started with my original post setting out the “ten perfect albums” premise, so start there if you’re new.
I discovered Faithless in 1996 with the re-release of Insomnia being everywhere. At the time the only other person I knew who liked them was my high school best friend. I’m not sure how long after that it took me to get the album, but it must have been one of the first CDs I purchased for myself. I do remember being very pleased that it also came with the remix album “Irreverence” in the package, everyone likes a bit of value for money.
The title track of the album, and it’s also up first. I still remember getting the album home and putting this on. Masterpiece. The main draw for me in wanting Reverence was for the lyrics and flow from Maxi Jazz, the album starts strong for this.
Took me a while to appreciate this one at the time, certainly wasn’t what I was expecting when I bought the album, and those Maxi Jazz vocals are no where in sight. Don’t Leave went on to become a favourite track though, and as we’ve established, the album is perfect.
This was my favourite song on the album for ages. Certainly the first one I knew all the words to. Maybe because I was also 14…
If Lovin’ You is Wrong
If Lovin’ You is Wrong almost breaks my perfect album rule of “not skipping any tracks”, however I’m letting it slide since I only skip this when listening would be inappropriate, like when it comes on in the office.
Relationship with the album
Listening to Reverence at once takes me back to high school. It’s that rare album that is just as perfect to throw on when you’re feeling a bit melancholy and just want to relax for a while, as it is to crank up loud and sing along.
It’s funny, when I bought Reverence, I didn’t think I was buying “dance music”. Even when I picked up the album Sunday 8pm, that still didn’t feel like what it was about to me. The later albums all feel much more ‘EDM’ though, and I pretty much fell off. Years later I got a bit into Trance (specifically Above & Beyond) and found I appreciated the later Faithless stuff much more. The remix album Faithless 2.0 even features an Above & Beyond version of Salva Mea, along with other EDM acts remixing classic Faithless tunes.
In retrospect, I wonder if Maxi Jazz did more to set up my later love for rap music than Faithless did for me with dance.
Other albums and songs
Bring My Family Back
Depressing? Sure, but still a great song. Hearing this performed live on Jo Whiley’s TV show (I’m 80% sure it was that, otherwise it was Jools Holland) was how I found out their second album “Sunday 8pm*” was available. I grabbed it soon after.
There are loads of Faithless tunes that just set a scene perfectly, and take you to a place. Postcards is one of those.
Tweak Your Nipple (Tiësto Remix)
The original version is great, but I do love this remix from Tiësto.
If I was just picking my favourite Faithless album, there is a strong chance I’d lean more towards Sunday 8PM, I think that’s probably them at their best. Reverence though has a sentimental edge for me, and also feels like the more complete piece. Sunday 8PM has a couple of tracks I’m not so keen on, that I might find myself skipping. Not so with Reverence, it is perfect.
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