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Faithless: No Roots

Even at their beat-crazy best on hits such as"Insomnia" and "Salva Mea," Faithless has always seemed like a unit with a focus beyond the dance floor. That is especially apparent on their latest CD, which dives right into political waters on its opening track. On "Mass Destruction," a father bound for war tells his young son, "You're the mister of the house now," then Maxi Jazz's deadpan, yet emphatic voice indicts the evils of racism, misinformation, and greed. It isn't necessarily anti-Bush or, since this is a British band, anti-Blair. It's more of a cry against what ails our fevered world, and how inaction only deepens the insanity. (A tasty club remix of the song closes the album.) Still, this CD isn't a polemic, and Maxi, Sister Bliss, and Rollo retain their keen sense of how to get a party started. "I Want More" is a choice floor burner anchored by persistent percussion and a sample of Nina Simone's "Tell Me More and More and Then Some," and the chilly instrumental "Sweep" segues perfectly into the disco strut of "Miss U Less, See U More." Singer LSK provides wonderful contrasting background vocals to Maxi's lead, and has his own fine turn on "Love Lives on My Street." Dido (Rollo's sister) adds her ethereal voice to the title track, while the ambience of "What About Love" should keep fans twirling under the lights for months. Uncompromising but accessible, this is a perfect album for those capable of dancing and thinking at the same time.

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