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The Dance

2010-05-06 17:32

Fourteen years, several albums and numerous global tours, festivals and hits later, those Faithless qualities have become benchmarks of the 21st-century music scene. Now their sixth studio album The Dance reunites the central trio of Buddhist MC/poet Maxi Jazz, indomitably cool club doyenne Sister Bliss and visionary producer Rollo, and extends that Faithless energy even further – always passionate, always progressive.

From their 1996 debut Reverence, Faithless albums have stood out for their vibrantly varied fusion of styles and viewpoints, and so it is with The Dance, which flows from the gorgeous romantic sentiments of numbers like "Sun To Me" to the quirky political commentary of "Crazy Bal’heads". More than ever, though, club culture is the elemental force here – and part of the inspiration stemmed from the live crowds that Faithless were encountering on tour, as Rollo explains: "On the tour for our last album, To All New Arrivals (2006), there was a whole new generation of kids who were there for the big dancey beats like Insomnia and God Is A DJ. We wanted to really celebrate that side of our music, and go for the jugular with The Dance."

"We definitely put an effort into returning to our dancefloor roots on this album," agrees Bliss. "To All New Arrivals, was a beautiful record, but its mood was more quiet and reflective. This record was a big thank you to our fans as well as a mark of the eclecticism of our band. It's a reconnection with where we've come from – we definitely wanted to feel that housey, anthemic energy again – but it’s also about renewal. Dance music has experienced such a resurgence, we’re still a little leftfield, and we've still got something to say."

Hear exactly what Maxi Jazz and Sister Bliss have to say by watching their track-by-track video tour of the album:

1. Tweak Your Nipple
Maxi Jazz: "Tweak Your Nipple is a song about inner power...essentially." Watch the video

2. Sun to Me
Maxi Jazz: "Being a buddhist and parying every now and then, you tend to think quite deeply about things." Watch the video

3. Not Going Home
Maxi Jazz: "The secret of having a good time is being determined to have a good time." Watch the video

4. North Star
Sister Bliss: "North Star is another collaboration with Dido, but a very mellow one." Watch the video

5. Love is My Condition
Sister Bliss: "...[it's] a collaboration with an Argentinean classical singer called Mia Maestro, who's got such a beautfiul voice." Watch the video

6. Flying High
Maxi Jazz: "This track is more geared towards your inner connection with the rest of the universe. People say what goes around comes around. People talk about Instant Karma...." Watch the video

7. Feeling Good
Sister Bliss: "[it's] a collaboration with Maxi and Dido...and she just sounds amazing on it 'cos she's over this really pumping electronic backing." Watch the video

8. Feel Me
Sister Bliss: "It's almost about coming alive again and fighting for your place in a relationship." Watch the video

9. Crazy Ballheads
Sister Bliss: "I love this track. This is based around an old reggae's about shaking your fist at the powers that be." Watch the video

10. Comin Around
Sister Bliss: "[it] features the dulcet tones of Dougie Mandagi from the fabulous band, Temper Trap, who are up and coming....It's a more reflective song about what's going on inside your head and when a relationship collapses." Watch the video

Faithless have always been musical movers and shakers. When this British collective first emerged in the mid-1990s, the idea that a dance music act could produce rich full-length albums rather than one-off tracks, pack out live concerts, and bring together all kinds of genres and music fans, seemed quite revolutionary.
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