For an outfit with about three short melodies Faithless had an amazing number of fantastic hits (there are 15 on this album, and one dud track.)
Faithless's big songs are about the party lifestyle - the highs and the lows - at times peaking like a trip, at others bringing you down to the dark reality of the aftermath. For those who haven't experienced it, it means restlessness, strange culinary cravings, an empty fridge. And sometimes also the animal sexual urges of "Insomnia" for "Making mad love on the heath, tearing off tights with my teeth" but there's no relief. "I'm wide awake in my kitchen / It's black and I'm lonely".
Mimicking the energy patterns of wild party night, the gloom and babble inside your head is seamlessly blasted away by the acidic high-energy flashback takeoff of "Mass Destruction".
Many of the anti-house crowd say - perhaps not unfairly - that house music is boring unless you're tripping on ecstasy. This could never be true of Faithless- they're much more than just part of one musical trend. They mix classical savvy, and that relentless house high with dub cool, pop sense and a helping of soul. Their musical mirrors, reversals and gymnastics combined with intelligent commentary are an addictive mix.
This is sweaty, sexy, joyous and dark stuff... sounds like a banned substance? Well, if you want to get high, you could prescribe yourself some of this music. It's surprisingly effective. The comedown is included at no extra cost. But you can turn it off and go to sleep whenever you like.
Or press skip. What a pity they included the R&B flavoured whine "Don't Leave Me". Unmemorable, with plenty of naf lyrics, this slow-thinking groanathon interrupts a great retrospective.
Overall? It's good stuff. Although fans will have all three Faithless albums, and though purists might sneer at buying a greatest hits compilation, be reassured. This isn't just a tossed together collection of chart hits. It's a tapestry of linked songs that works as an album in its own right.
- Jean Barker
WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID:
This greatest hits package has many inspirational moments, with the albums often invoking moments of nostalgia. But for something termed a 'greatest hits', anything outside of 'Insomnia' and 'God Is A DJ' seems more a miss than a hit.- Jeremy Chick for Gigwise.com
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