Monday, 19 March 2012

Faithless - Passing The Baton (Live From Brixton) (Album Review)

When I saw this album was due for release it led me to think how few dance acts release live albums and what the reason behind it could be. Dance is one of the best selling forms of music in the industry, and one of the most popular ways of milking the cash cow is to release a live album. It could be that dance music just doesn’t stand up to the live treatment (partly due to so many acts having few live elements), it could be that the longevity of the dance act is limited and as such acts don't have a strong enough back catalogue, or it could be that dance music is at its best on a set of decks in an overcrowded sweaty club. Enter Faithless - dance pioneers - with this, their farewell package.

This album is alive. It’s full of the energy that has made Faithless one of the longest serving and most popular dance acts of a generation. There is not a single moment of this album where you can stop nodding along, not an anthemic line you can’t catch yourself singing along to. This is what a live album should be. It doesn’t sound like it did on the studio album; it is a modern take on the groups' older material and a stylish interaction with an audience.

There is little to fault on this album. Maybe the crowd sound levels could have been higher (after all it is a live album), possibly the set could have been a little longer, but in general this could be used as a barometer for what a live dance album should sound like. I’m sure there will be other great dance acts over the next few years - but until then – thank you Faithless, you have served us well, enjoy your retirement.

Other notable releases this week
Anti-Flag - The General Strike
Apologies, I Have None – London
Meshuggah – Koloss
Miike Snow - Happy to You
Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
The Shins - Port Of Morrow
Tantara - Based on Evil
Toy Dolls - The Album After The Last One
The Wedding Present – Valentina

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