Faithless – this is another of these dance music bands which my daughter Laura has introduced me too. I quite like most of what she has bought me (Christmases and Birthdays), it is stuff I would never have bought myself but, like almost all music I suspect, if you give it a chance it pays dividends. All music is good, there is just some I am not so familiar with. The band is just 3 people and a lot of computer wizardry…the only one I had heard of was Maxi Jazz (not his real name I suspect) – but with these bands or DJs or whatever the players are not really so important. Anyway, the records. First up is 1996’s debut Reverence, which according to fans has never been bettered. Some great tunes and a couple of nice ballads too, especially ‘Don’t Leave’ and ‘If Loving You Is Wrong’ but I suspect it was the faster dance numbers the fans loved: ‘Salva Mea’ and ‘Insomnia’ but really the whole album just slips from ear to ear and nothing much sticks, which is maybe the whole point of dance music – you feel it but it is of the moment not to be pondered over. High volume is of course recommended. In some ways similar to Heavy Metal, it moves your body not your soul. Next is the follow-up Sunday 8pm. This is an overlong (the songs go on forever) and somewhat slower at times record, although a few more of the songs seem to be in a hip-hop style (although I am probably using completely the wrong terms) I can’t really say which I liked best, probably ‘Hour Of Need’ and ‘God Is A DJ’….but more and more this music, though technically excellent just refuses to stay in my brain…oh well, must be my age. Outrospective (2001) was a number one album, apparently. Made little impression on me really, pleasant enough but overlong. No Roots is next…and a great title track in two versions, but I cannot say I recall much else. Then finally The Dance, their last record on 2006. It also is okay. You may wonder just why I have five albums of a band I am not that enamoured of….charity shops and a certain sense of persistence hoping against hope that I will find a great album. And they are all okay, it is just me – I DON’T REALLY LIKE THIS STUFF THAT MUCH.
Fat Boy Slim – well, again charity shops to blame. Of course I had heard a couple of singles and thought, only a quid, I’ll give it a go, And really it is okay, but just so repetitive….which of course, is the point. With dance music there is no beginning middle or end, just a groove, which may last 5 or 8 or 10 minutes, the decision when to close the track seems quite arbitrary. The album You’ve Come A Long Way Baby…well, if the fact that it seems to be in every charity shop around says anything then I don’t need to.
Bryan Ferry…well, I liked Roxy Music, I mean who didn’t, though I only bought a couple of their LPs at the time. Ferry always appeared to be up his own arse – but with a great voice, so my forays have been very few in CD land. Dylanesque (2005) is his take on Dylan’s catalogue. And it is quite nice anyway to hear Bob’s songs again, though I don’t think that Ferry adds anything unique or different. A nice listen but quite passable. Olympia (2010) is one of Ferry’s latest albums, mostly his own songs – and having re-listened to it twice not much stays with me. A good cover of the Traffic song ‘No Face, No Name, No Number’, and ‘Heartache by Numbers’ is quite good, but really I am wondering why I ever bought the album. Last up is a compilation Street Life of both Ferry solo work and Roxy stuff. Quite good to hear the old Roxy stuff, but apart from hIs famous cover of Dylan’s ‘Hard Rains A Gonna Fall’ nothing remarkable here. I did once see him live, in the pouring rain and he came on an hour late….oh well.