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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Losing faith in Faithless
DJ Sister Bliss with rapper Maxi Jazz
Faithless overdose on mellow with their new album
By BBC News Online's Chris Charles

Things are not what they seem.

If you've ever been to Cuba you will have seen the wealth of classic American cars dotted around Havana.

Cadillacs, Chevys, Corvettes - you name them - it's like walking onto the set of a James Dean movie.

You could probably snap one up for the price of a pint, but cries of "Let's see what this baby can do" will invariably be drowned out by the splutter of the lawnmower engine used to power it.

Which brings us nicely on to Faithless.

Maxi Jazz is the rapper in the Faithless trio
The unhurried words of Maxi Jazz fall over shimmering beats
After hearing killer top three dance anthem We Come 1, first time triers may understandably be anticipating an album that kicks them out of bed and throws them downstairs in their sexiest clubbing gear.

Instead, Outrospective comes bearing gifts of slippers and cocoa, with the odd nip of whisky to remind us what this band can do when they can be bothered to shift out of second gear.

The broody Not Enuff Love invites you to "think of those in the cold and dark", with the unhurried words of Maxi Jazz falling over shimmering beats.

More lazy mutterings attempt to make themselves heard above a throbbing bassline on the outstanding Giving Myself Away, while Machines R Us pits bongos with bleeps from raves gone by.

Mundane moments

To be fair, some of the chill-out stuff is top drawer and serves as a water-carrier for the more mundane moments, of which there are several.

Faithless find themselves floating in stagnant water - too strong to sink, too tired to swim

In Take One Step Too Far, Sister Bliss becomes Sister Act to accommodate Rollo's sibling, the increasingly irritating Dido.

This dreadfully dire ballad is only upstaged by Miss Bliss herself on Crazy English Summer - a song tailor-made for Elaine Paige.

When Faithless turn it on, they do so in style - like a cat that has been toying with a mouse before suddenly springing into action.

Muhammad Ali is the Fun Lovin' Criminals spinning Philly Soul tunes at the local disco and the mighty We Come 1 is to this summer what Groovejet was to last.

With a little cosmetic surgery, Outrospective could have been a great album.

Instead, Faithless find themselves floating in stagnant water - too strong to sink, too tired to swim.

Outrospective is released by Cheeky Records on 18 June

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