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Paloma Faith
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    Paloma Faith

    Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful 7 ( 2009 )
    Stone Cold Sober / Smoke & Mirrors / Broken Doll / Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? / Upside Down / Romance Is Dead / New York / Stargazer / My Legs Are Weak / Play On

    Paloma comes from Hackney, London. She sounds all the world like an Amy Winehouse who never took drugs, but is just ever so slightly naturally mad - enough to lend the music an edge. The music is polished, slightly old-fashioned in that it echoes a lot of soul music throughout the years, but all impeccably played and sounding modern thanks to today's studio technology, if nothing else. This clumsily titled debut album only peaked at UK number 9, and spawned two relatively minor top 20 singles, yet has gone double-platinum. Sometimes the sleeper hits are the one's that build long-lasting careers, rather than have multiple top-ten worldwide hits from your debut, be talked about as the next hot thing - yet ultimately fade almost into almost nothing. Yes, Jessie J, Iím talking about you. Well, it's not quite true of course in terms of album sales, Jessie has enjoyed a huge amount - yet her days as a hit-maker are surely limited. After seven years at the time of writing however, it feels like Paloma is only just getting started. And, you all know I hate albums with multiple producers, superstar collaborations and ten dozen songwriters? Each song here is written by Paloma with just one, occasionally two other writers. Musically, she has chosen some reasonably under the radar, but very competent musicians, such as the wonderful Leo Abrahams on guitar. There are a couple or three engineers, a couple of producers in total - it means this is Paloma's album from start to finish.

    'Stone Cold Sober', 'Upside Down' and 'Romance Is Dead' are highlights of the first side of the LP. A critiscm is that a lot of the songs sound exactly like each other. A critiscm of 'New York' is that suddenly our Hackney girl wants to be Alicia Keys, or at the very least, some generic American singer 'hitster'. Is hitster a word? It is now. Occasionally, the charming Amy Winehouse echoes are overdone and she loses herself as the music sometimes is too polite and too polished. You can see your face in it, when you want to see Dusty Springfield. 'My Legs Are Weak' is my pick of the bunch. You can't imagine Amy Winehouse singing it, and Paloma, although reaching a fever pitch of sorts, never oversings. The closing 'Play On' reveals a lack of quality control - and that's pretty much it. A promising debut but nothing like the finished product. Too generic at times, we want to hear the real Paloma, please.

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    this page last updated 27/03/16



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