Get a personalised letter from Santa

Album review: Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction

PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 March 2014

Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction

Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction

Archant

Third outing for the girl who clearly wants - and arguably deserves - more than Motown re-rubs and peppy wronged-woman rants. Maybe next time?

Hackney’s retro-soul-pop pipistrel is at it again on this third album, mining Motown’s gloomiest fissures for inspiration, this time with the help of songwriter Dianne Warren, Plan B and John Legend among others.

Toeing the line of approachably-kooky artiste, A Perfect Contradiction presents a set of MOR soul-pop and ‘70s disco dressed to varying degrees with glossy, persuasive production.

The odd one out is whip-cracking lead single Can’t Rely On You, for which Pharrell Williams nicks his own drumstick clicks off Blurred Lines and puts them to far better use, the crisp beats popping off a hollerin’, fiery Faith who’s franky had it up to here.

And throughout she gamely channels the despair and heartache of a woman dumped, disrespected and disappointed with her sweet, lightly-smoked vocals while well-trodden treatments make for a somewhat saggy final third.

Some of its best moments hide in the Deluxe Edition’s alternate versions; raw emotion surges forth when Only Love Can Hurt Like This is stripped-back to piano and vocals, and the live take of the riotous, high-octane Trouble With My Baby transcends the cliches of the studio version’s sub-Cee-Lo shake-out.

On the whole, though, this record’s too safe for the boundary-pushing vanguard she seems to aspire to - see the cloying heartache of The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall) and early-’90s, by-numbers dance of Impossible Heart for proof.

Rating: 3/5

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Herts/Middlesex One: Staines 17 Hendon 22

14:10

Herts/Middlesex One: St Albans 13 UCS Old Boys 6

16:55

A workshop owner who engraves benches on Hampstead Heath was forced to break in to his own business to retrieve machinery after the landlord changed the locks and evicted him over unpaid rent.

10:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

14:00

Champagne corks were popped on Saturday as the well-known former Blustons clothes store in Kentish Town has been re-opened as a vintage charity shop.

09:11

A man has died after a fire broke out in a first floor flat on Brassey Road in West Hampstead.

09:18

Highgate’s historic Prince of Wales pub has temporarily closed for a £250,000 refurbishment but its new manager has moved to allay fears that the traditional boozer will lose its character.

Yesterday, 17:22

England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed Harry Kane after the Spurs forward grabbed a late winner to send the impressive Three Lions through to the UEFA Nations League finals.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now