By Mick Birchall
Paloma Faith is an extraordinary talent that I have loved for a long time. I was introduced to her through the radio and I have always been blown away by her sheer presence. Unlike a lot of other pop artists there is a genuine sincerity to her vocals and her writing is always on point. It’s been awhile since her last record and in an industry of “keep pumping out singles or be forgotten” it really does feel like a long time since I heard her on the radio. When I heard the new single Crybaby and the radio, which is a fantastic song I knew I was ready for a new album from her. So let’s dive into the new album The Architect. The album opens with a monologue performed by the one and only, king of cool, Samuel L Jackson. The intro itself is atmospheric and braces you for the album you’re about to receive and the album is littered with these spoken word parts written by Paloma. There’s Politics of Hope read by Owen Jones, a columnist for The Independent. Also, Pawns performed by singers Baby N’Sola, Janelle Martin & Naomi Miller. These parts serve to enhance the album core themes and ideas presented and are smoothly injected into the production. Rather than an album about her personal life and heartache, Paloma rather focuses on the problems of the world and her view of it all. The album has a huge sounding production with swelling synth lines that make each song feel big. Especially the two singles Crybaby and Guilty. Paloma’s voice just sits so well on top of the production and she honestly sound fantastic in every single way. The writing is sharp and filled with emotion, and Paloma really delivers with great vocal performances and the way she sings really enhances the lines. My favourite tune on the album would have to be I’ll Be Gentle, featuring the vocal talents of the awesome John Legend. This song really gets me, the emotional power of this song is wonderful. Their voices match up really well and the song truly sound wonderful for it. The melody is gorgeous and instrumentation is really nice and euphonious. However, that is really only due to my only palette of musical taste. I just really love duets on that level. I am so happy that she is back. The Architect is another addition to her discography. All of the elements are there and Paloma really sounds incredible. The only thing I will say is that the digital instruments are a little bland at times. It might have nicer to get real drums and real guitars to create the songs. I know it’s not common practice anymore in pop music but it’s something that I would really love to hear. As is this is another win for Paloma as far I’m concerned.