It’s been 20 years since Faithless—comprised of rapper Maxi Jazz, DJ Sister Bliss and producer Rollo—first formed. Despite being largely inactive as a band since their final album The Dance Never Ends in 2010, they’re celebrating their milestone anniversary in a truly extravagant form with Faithless 2.0. Collecting their hit singles from over the years on one CD and remixes of their tracks on a second, it’s both a collection of their classics and a reimagining of their career at large.
The remix disc isn’t as initially exciting as expected, though. The opening remix, Insomnia 2.0 as done by Avicii, opens the disc on a sour note; it’s not the most inspired remix, even if it isn’t the worst. The remainder of the disc is packed with one-note remixes that do nothing interesting with the original material, but there are some gems in there. Muhammad Ali 2.0 sees High Contrast turning the single into a drum and bass track, utilising the horn samples from the original song to keep it relevant to the source material; it feels a little cheesy at times, but also sounds like a classic of its own. Meanwhile, the Until the Ribbon Breaks version of Don’t Leave 2.0 turns the trip-hop track into something with a modern alternative pop feel to it, standing out from the surrounding tracks both in terms of sound and creativity. Outside of these remixes, there’s nothing to really write home about.
The second disc, however, truly highlights the best of their career. There’s a perfect mix of both dance and trip-hop tracks, with their influential hit Insomnia opening the package with a gigantic hit of nostalgia to set the tone. The anti-war alt rock single Mass Destruction, the funky hip-hop arrangement of Muhammad Ali, the wobbling bass of debut single Salva Mea and the sheer brilliance of the angelic trip-hop track One Step Too Far, featuring Dido, give real character to the disc and even out the less instantly engaging tracks that can be found here. The greatest hits disc offers the stronger set of material, and is the much more appealing half of the package.
Faithless 2.0 does come across as a mixed bag, with the remix disc being less successful than the tried and true material. In the long run, the greatest hits disc is both the meat of the package and potentially what most people, fans or otherwise, would be interested in. It was a good concept in theory, and one that fits their dance roots perfectly, but it’s thanks to the presence and strength of the greatest hits disc that the remixes didn’t bring the entire package down. Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with a classic.