The Top 50 Albums of the Year… #50 FAITHLESS “The Dance”
50. FAITHLESS “The Dance”
I really don’t think Faithless, one of my favourite electronic acts of all time, got enough credit for this complete masterpiece of a record in 2010. A cleverly crafted comeback after 2006′s somewhat reflective (but still lovely) “To All New Arrivals”, “The Dance” reshaped and remodeled the Faithless album into an up-front, ball-tearing, straight-forward dance record. To those who said it sounded like every other Faithless record, they obviously hadn’t really listened to any of their albums, or hadn’t bothered to pay attention to Maxi’s profound lyrics beyond recognition that his voice was there. To all of those critics, it’s actually worth pointing out that “The Dance” was – by far and away – the most club-friendly an album from them to date.
The brilliant thing about “The Dance” is how it manages to fuse the best of that big house and trance movement of the early-to-mid 90′s with the elements of todays electronica. There’s some really forward-thinking dance music on here that pushes as many boundaries as their irreplaceable debut single “Salva Mea.” Tracks like “Not Going Home” and “Tweak Your Nipple” really do bring back that hugely-scaled stadium house and trance sound we haven’t heard in clubs or at festivals since the genres golden era through the 1990′s. Big-loaded techno makes an appearance on the record highlight “Sun To Me”, and another highlight belonging to the drama of “Feelin’ Good”, an epic monster which is only glorified by the haunting vocals of Dido. And for those who like to take it easy (and know that Faithless are also very good at making music to do just so), there’s gloriously crafted beauties like “North Star” and the Kate Bush-esque “Love Is My Condition” to take the rave-edge off.
Faithless may not be considered as ‘cool’ as they once were in a more forgiving 1990′s dance-friendly landscape (not that they’ve ever aspired to please music elitists), but they’re still making records better than most artists 15 years after their debut, and no rock critic can take that away from them.