The first question I had to ask about Everything Will Be Alright Tomorrow was: “Why?” It seems odd to remove such a crucial element of the Faithless set-up for this record, a bit like a sandwich without the filling. Still, here it is – Maxi Jazz is removed for what amounts to an instrumental EP, and the results are surprising.
The concept is to take tracks from No Roots and present them in their own right as continuously linked meanderings of a similar nature to mid-’90s ambience, ie. let the background come to the fore. We get versions of No Roots, Love Lives On My Street, Pastoral and Everything Will Be Alright among others. For the purposes of this review I decided to try and assume I had never heard the vocals, to see if the music can stand on its own two feet without them.
Rollo’s assured production hand ensures the textures are constantly changing, never static, and sound pictures gradually evolve, patterns shifting from light to dark and back again, with snatches of melody drifting in and out of focus. It’s mostly inconsequential but good mood music all the same.
The main problem here though is that in shadowing No Roots, Faithless have had to stick to that record’s “one key” philosophy, meaning that virtually every note is in Sister Bliss’ chosen key of C minor. This is all very well, but there’s a limit to how much you can achieve in the same key for half an hour without any obviously distinctive melody.
Nevertheless, Everything unfolds at an easy walking pace, with piano, string pads, light percussion and various atmospherics. It’s not exactly Future Sound Of London, but it’s perfectly pleasant. Maxi actually makes a brief appearance in Track 2 (Swingers on No Roots), but this only heightens the frustration of his absence, disappearing as quickly as he arrived.
No matter, the atmospherics continue, through two versions of I WantMore – one up tempo, one slow. The soothing aural texture remains, still in the same key until the final track.
Here the mould changes. Unlike the others, Blissy’s Groove is instrumental in conception and has noticeably more musical activity. It is by some distance the choice track for this chill-out compilation. A distinctive melodic fragment gnaws its way into your consciousness throughout the nine minutes, and there’s a definite urgency about the beats that’s lacking elsewhere.
After 40 minutes of Bliss-ed out music it can be concluded that the instrumental idea isn’t as silly as first thought, and the fact that it’s available cut-price is bound to tug at the purse strings of Faithless completists. To be honest, it’s worth having for Blissy’s Groove alone.