Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction

By Patrick Campbell

Released Friday March 21st 2014 - Sony Music

Since 2012's sophomore effort Fall To GracePaloma Faith has been in the spotlight around the world. The global success of the lead single Picking Up The Pieces launched her career into the mainstream. Since then she has been busy working on the follow up to the album that hit number 1 in the UK, and finally it's here.

Described as a more mature, soulful sound, Faith has returned to the music scene with a vengeance and a new musical style that sets her apart from all the other British pop divas that are conquering the music industry. Opening with the lead single - in typical Paloma Faith fashion - the Pharrell Williams producedCan't Rely On You failed to make a mark in the charts anywhere but it definitely showed the world what we could expect from the new album. A sassy, soul epic, this song brings the right energy to open the album, fast paced and emotionally driven. This is instantly followed by the disco track Mouth To Mouth, which sounds like something out of a 70s club. While they lyrics are questionably tacky, it's catchy and is definitely not a bad song.

The album really starts with the track Only Love Can Hurt Like This, amongst the fast paced, glamorous disco tracks, the few deep, ballads such as this one and The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall) really stand out and are the highlights of the album. These are where you can hear the maturity of Faith's voice uninterrupted by dramatic strings and synth lines. These are the songs where she proves her skill as a vocalist, without so much reliance on the backing track.

This album is different to Faith's first two efforts, no longer is she creating a body of work that is just singles surrounded by weak filler tracks. Finally Faith has created a body of work where each song has a place of its own and deserves to be on the album. Each song brings something different to the album, all throwing back to the last century, exploring different styles of music that have come and gone throughout the last fifty years.

The one issue I have with this album is its ending. The final track: It's The Not Knowing finishes awkwardly and abruptly and it left me feeling uneasy. I wanted more, but I wanted more of that song because it just didn't feel finished. Apart from that small issue, Paloma Faith has finally created an album that fully displays her talent and ability as an artist. It may not be my favourite album I've heard so far this year, but it is great, and it definitely has a timeless style that ensures we will still be hearing tracks from it in the future.

3.5 / 5