Image © Metropolis Records
(31 December 2001) The latest release by Los Angeles-based singer songwriters William Faith and Monica Richards (Faith And The Muse) is entitled Vera Causa (Metropolis Records (USA) MET 225, 2001). Two 14-track CDs comprise the album.
Vera Causa isn't the standard retrospective; the two CDs aren't filled with all the songs you've already heard fifty times, followed by the requisite Rosetta Stone remix. This album is an awesome collection of rarities, covers, live cuts and remixes. This collection does give you an accurate portrait of the band's sound, but you're nuts if you don't go out and get their other releases.
If you haven't listened to Faith and The Muse before, the best I can convey their sound is Myth-Rock Romantique. That may be way off the mark, but I haven't eaten in four hours. From their 1994 debut Elyria, right on through to Evidence of Heaven, they've always melded styles as varied as film-score romanticism, celtic rock, 80s power pop and 90s darkwave. The lyrics are always intelligent, Monica and William are both gifted singers, and their albums always have the coolest art/packaging courtesy of Monica.
The first disc, Night, is a jackpot of compilation tracks, covers and demo cuts. If you're a devotee of the band, it's that much more fun to hear the development of their trademark sound. Their cover of "Romeo's Distress" is a nice tip of the hat to the late great Rozz Williams.
The second disc, Morning, is a selection of live tracks and remixes. Of course the live stuff is great, since the band can all play their instruments. Monica and William have stage voices as good as their studio ones. I'm not partial to remixes, but these versions prove that if you start with something good, you can end with something good.
Vera Causa does what the best "collection" CDs do: If you like the band, you'll love the new depth and perspective these songs provide. If you're new to it, you'll get neck-deep in it pretty quick. Faith and The Muse make addictive music, and I am gleefully hooked. If you get a chance to see them live, just do it.--Scott Sweet
Now signed to Metropolis Records, Faith And The Muse appear to have an even brighter future. This album of live material, compilation appearances, acoustic versions and rarities served as a good introduction to their work.
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This album is not only a great introduction to Faith And The Muse but, with so much material included in the two-CD set, is an equally great value. Worth a journey, it is a very nice listen!