Faithless

Insomnia: The Best of Faithless

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One of the few dance acts who are able to actually sell albums, Faithless sold an impressive one million copies of their 2005 Forever Faithless hits collection, thanks to their blend of Sister Bliss' dancefloor mentality, Rollo's epic production and Maxi Jazz's hypnotic vocal delivery. Four years later, and with just one more studio album under their belt, the Röyksopp-influenced To All New Arrivals, they return with a second compilation, Insomnia: The Best of Faithless. But while the two-disc, 30-track set is undoubtedly more comprehensive, the fact that it fails to include any cuts from their previous LP renders it a tad unnecessary. And by omitting five of their 16 Top 40 singles, including the highly politicized "Mass Destruction" and the Philly soul-influenced "Muhammad Ali," it's also nowhere near as hit-laden. However, with a track list compiled from their four studio albums, it does provide a chance for casual fans to investigate the band further. And while there's no new material included, several tracks appear in remixed form, such as Way Out West's breakbeat reworking of "Salva Mea" and the haunting Nightmares on Wax version of "Killer's Lullaby." Of the singles, the standouts include "God Is a DJ" and "Insomnia," which showcase their signature, anthemic trance sound. "One Step Too Far" is a gorgeous slice of subtle electronica featuring longtime collaborator Dido, and "Don't Leave" is a gospel-influenced ballad: a reminder that they're just as convincing on their less dance-inspired moments. The dreamy, synth-led "Swingers," the eerie sci-fi-sounding "Drifting Away," and the acoustic trip-hop of "Evergreen" are the highlights of the album tracks. Whereas Forever Faithless reminded everyone just what a great singles band they are, Insomnia reveals that they are a pretty consistent album band, too. But with several notable omissions and a lack of any recent material, Insomnia ultimately fails to paint the full picture of their illustrious 13-year career.

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