Paloma Faith is the newest mold set in the museum of jazz-soul vixens, beauty arching from every follicle of her vibrant hair and every note of her stirring voice. She’s already captivated audiences all across the UK with her heavy, symphonic chamber pop and subtle electronic influences, spinning stories of forlorn love and burning passion. Just this past week, she extended her hand out to the United States in the form of her American debut Fall To Grace. The 13 tracks that accompany the album are a blessing indeed, adding further dimensions to the foundation already set by Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Adele, and every other mainstream soul-singer. Though there are comparisons to the aforementioned melody-ridden divas, Faith seems to be forging her own path to stardom. In the backdrop of every dark, swooning anthem, subtle pop influences flit about like fireflies in the night. It’s those little sparks of genius that lift Fall To Grace from the teeming pit of melodramatic soul-pop flops, and hopefully this style will secure Faith a sound spot within the American charts.
Moving through the musical diary entry that is Fall To Grace, each of Faith’s rollercoaster romances gradually unfolds into a rich soundscape of symphonic majesty. Each track flows so effortlessly into the next that at times its hard to exactly pinpoint the most notable parts of the album. So here are three great tracks that are definitely worth checking out, even if you don’t have time to listen to the album all the way through.
“Agony” kicks off heavy, reminiscent of a Lana Del Rey song, moving into a hip-swaying dance beat with dark synthesizers. The hook repeats the album’s title, and the lyric content displays Faith knee-deep in love, content even in the midst of a twisted relationship. This is a perfect display of Faith’s sound, showcasing a genre that could be best described as electro-soul.
The lead single from the album, “Picking Up The Pieces,” leads more towards the chamber-pop aspect of Faith’s repertoire of sound. Utilizing organic percussion and bold orchestrations, Paloma paints a bittersweet portrait of a struggling romance. She stands side by side with her lover as he continues to reel in the aftermath of his previous relationship. She tries desperately to fill the hole that her man’s previous lover left in his heart. The situation is specific, yet relatable, and the songwriting is beautifully honest.
“Let Your Love Walk In” begins with a waltzing piano riff, xylophone keys and – would you believe it – dubstep, adding understated but effective touches to the ballad. The chorus captures the soulful love song fantastically; creating a record that doesn’t sink into mediocrity but instead stands out.