Inspired by house, rap, reggae, '50s vocal harmonies, techno, and even opera, along with a host of other musical genres, Faithless creates amalgamations of these styles onto tracks of generous length. The group's debut, REVERENCE, is one of the most consistent and surprising records to emerge from the club scenes of '90s England, and features at least two bona fide masterpieces.
The extraordinary "Salva Mea" starts with a plaintive vocal before bursting into a fast, massive rave-up, and then settles into a wickedly fuzzed-out, bass-driven rap--and that's only in the first three minutes of this nearly 11-minute track. The other standout is the utterly stunning "Insomnia," which would justify the record even if the rest of it weren't as good. Starting off with a variety of clock sounds and a wet, jackhammer beat, the track moves through brittle ambient territory into rap and hard-beat techno, and back again with alarming dexterity. The track appears twice, as a full-length version and an equally fabulous radio edit that excises the ambient sequences, condenses the vocals, and emphasizes the "harder" portions of the original. As for the other tracks, well, you ought to hear them for yourself--they are all well worth it.
Q (3/02, p.132) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The first dance act to fully embrace life on the road...their debut contained big house singles 'Slava Mea' and the awesome 'Insomnia'..."