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Faithless - Reverence

Faithless – Reverence – Perfect Album #8

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.

Discovery

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.

Standout Songs

Insomnia

Obviously.

Insomnia please release me and let me dream
About making mad love on the heath
Tearing off tights with my teeth

Reverence

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.

It’s a fact you’ll attract all the things that you lack
So just chill

Don’t Leave

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.

Hanging with friends like we used to do
I didn’t know anything was wrong

Baseball Cap

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…

Sometimes you have to let the world know you’re not bluffing
But enough is enough, don’t lose your life over nothing

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.

The lyrics are tamer in the video. Pick some out yourself. 🙂

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 and sing along.

Faithless

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’ to me 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 was a time when my walls were decorated.
And under my roof children were educated.

Postcards

There are loads of Faithless tunes that just set a scene perfectly, and take you to a place. Postcards is one of those.

Anyway, all my love, God bless, I’m yawning
I really miss watching you get dressed in the morning

Tweak Your Nipple (Tiësto Remix)

The original version is great, but I do love this remix from Tiësto.

I see genius in everybody
To perceive it in yourself is the difficulty

Conclusion

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 both 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.