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REVIEW: Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction

12 March 2014

Back in 2009, a fiery red-headed cracker burst onto the scene with a selection of big, brassy tracks which grabbed you by the balls and made you pay attention, like the incredibly infectious 'Upside Down' and ultimate-shower-belter 'New York.' We were then treated to the cooler and calmer second album, 'Fall to Grace,' which took the tempo down, and turned the lyrical nozzle right up, sharing some of the more heartbreaking stories Paloma Faith has to tell. Fastforward a couple of years and we've come to 'A Perfect Contradiction' - which unsurprisingly is both perfect, and a contradiction.

Lead track, 'Can't Rely On You,' is a fierce little number, produced by Pharrell, which sees his simplistic retro style mixed with Paloma's honest lyrics and dramatic voice. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't gutted that one of the best songs of the year, by far, hasn't stormed the charts as much as I'd hoped, but the album is on course to hit #2 this week so, there's some kind of redemption. As we continue on with the album, there are a variety of tracks bursting with colour and soul - some of which wouldn't sound out of place at all back in the days of Motown. In some places, it couldn't seem more current.

That may be one of the only downsides to this album; whilst it's a very polished effort, it seems to lack just a little bit of Paloma's originality. Each song is accessible, and there is that underlying thought wondering what the next track will sound like, but the quirks that we know and love Paloma for, are few and fair between. Let's see how the album rates track by track:

1. Can't Rely On You 9.6/10
2. Mouth To Mouth 9.3/10
3. Take Me 8.7/10
4. Only Love Can Hurt Like This 8.9/10
5. Other Women 8.1/10
6. Taste My Own Tears 7.8/10
7. Trouble With My Baby 8/10
8. The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall) 7.2/10
9. Impossible Heart 8.6/10
10. Love Only Leaves You Lonely 7.7/10
11. It's The Not Knowing 7.5/10

Overall: 8.24/10

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