Outrospective was the third album released by the British group Faithless, consisting of Rollo (Roland Armstrong, Dido's brother), Sister Bliss (Ayalah
Bentovin), and Maxi Jazz (Max Frazer). Released in the UK on the 18th of June 2001, Outrospective continues the Faithless pattern that fans have come to know and love, and to date at least 100, 000 copies have been sold. Several tracks on this album also feature the voices of Dido and/or Zoe Johnston, which although similiar are both fantastic and lend an extra dimension to the record. In contrast, the previous albums had seen a male voice on most of the ballads, namely Jamie Catto, who had since left Faithless to form the group One Giant Leap, and a guest appearance by Boy George on Sunday 8pm.
The word often used to describe Faithless' albums is "eclectic", and Outrospective is certainly an eclectic mix. The combination of techno-like tracks such as "Donny X", dance hits such as "We Come 1", ballads like "Crazy English Summer" and the Moby-esque "Code" is reminiscent of the bands previous offerings; indeed, Sister Bliss herself described this album as "a funkier Sunday 8pm."
Four singles were released from this album. "We Come 1" was the first on the 4th of June 2001, "Muhammed Ali" followed on the 3rd of September, and "Tarantula" was released on the 15th of December. 2002 saw the release of "One Step Too Far" on the 6th of April. Faithless radio edits are often very different from the album versions, however, which results in a slight divide between a core fanbase (those who prefer the album in most cases) and those who prefer the radio edits, and so buy the singles, but may be disappointed by the album as they expect the same version on both records. There are examples of this on all three of Faithless' albums: the very different version of "We Come 1" on Outrospective, for one.
The first track off the album to be released as a single, "We Come 1", was a huge hit on British radio and in the charts, as well as being massively popular in clubs. Around 136, 150 copies of this single have been sold so far. This helped to pique interest in Outrospective, and this one single is the reason for many people purchasing the album to find out more. Outrospective also reached the top ten of the UK album charts in June 2001. Faithless are perhaps best known for their classic dance "anthems", which help to attract attention to their vastly different and varied albums.
Track Listing: (as it appears on the back of the album)
NOT ENUFF LOVE
WE COME 1
CRAZY ENGLISH SUMMER
MACHINES R US
ONE STEP TOO FAR
GIVING MYSELF AWAY
The variation in style between tracks contributes heavily to the overall feel of the album, which manifests itself best when listening to the entire record, but can also be felt in individual tracks. Outrospective is a darker recording than either Reverence or Sunday 8pm, the first two albums, with a more electronic sound, but not overly so. The contrast between the techno-like "Donny X", the dark rap in "Not Enuff Love" and the uplifting "We Come 1" sums up this album, which can change from pumping beats to reflective mode in second ("Tarantula" to "Giving Myself Away") whilst retaining the overall feel.
There are only two weak points on the album; two of the tracks without a contribution from Maxi Jazz, Dido or Zoe Johnston. These are simply not as interesting or engrossing as most of the other tracks, but do not detract too much from the general quality. The ending is not disappointing either, as the tail end of "Liontamer" is not neglected, resulting in a very strong finish to an excellent album.
The addition of the "We Come 1" radio edit video (which makes a clear statement) on the enhanced CD, as well as comments from Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz and a gallery, simply adds to the experience. Sales have also been bolstered by the re-release of this album in conjunction with a remix CD, featuring two new tracks in addition to the remixes by artists such as Wookie, plus the version of "Tarantula" used by the BBC during the 2002 World Cup (called "God is a Beckham"). Faithless have done this with each of their albums to date - Reverence/Irreverence, Sunday 8pm/Saturday 3am and this latest one, Outrospective/Reperspective. The recording of the fourth Faithless album is due to start in late 2003.
Update: the fourth album is due for release on June 14, 2004. The title is "No Roots".
Another update: Faithless have since released a greatest hits, titled Forever Faithless, in 2005 and as of summer 2006 are working on another studio album.
Source of sales statistics: