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4.7 out of 5 stars648
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 October 2010
One word - amazing! Paloma Faith's voice is so different but catchy. Not only does she master pop-esque tunes like her own "stone cold sober" but she has a fantastic soul voice - hense why Jools Holland likes her so much. "Smoke and Mirrors" is my favourite song, as it's full of glitz and glamour and just fantastic to listen to. Of course, New York was the song that has sent her spiralling into fame, and "Upside Down" was also a big hit. Paloma's personality is infectious, and in my opinion not enough people know about her. She makes the odd appearance on TV shows like Alan Titchmarsh etc, but deserves to be number 1 in the charts! I have seen her live in Leeds and she was amazing, she puts on such a good show and makes such an effort with her set (although she doesn't have a 250 foot stage like some singers) and her backing singers are great. In fact all her band always play live on all the shows she appears on and they all are very individual. She has hillarious video diaries on Youtube and this CD is well worth the money
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on 21 September 2009
Let's ignore all Ami Winehouse references from the start because though the voice is similar that is where the comparison should end. Paloma Faith deserves to be considered on her own merits. With a background in dance and theatre Miss Faith is clearly a woman very aware of performance and composition in her music. At 25 years old she steps into a music scene which is primed for original female performers like her.

Opening track `Stone Cold Sober' feels like the swirling party that it depicts with soaring vocals, energetic horn sections and dynamic orchestration. The vocals have a confidence and swagger to them which makes Paloma stand out from the surrounding confusion which is entirely appropriate for a song about being the "sober" one at a party. It is a perfectly aimed opening track. It is followed by `Smoke and Mirrors' which demonstrates Paloma's theatrical awareness. It builds quickly between verse and chorus which is lead strongly by a good string section. Paloma's voice soars through the chorus. It sounds like she could fill any concert hall in the world effortlessly. Then rather than pushing on with another strong soulful chorus lead song the volume drops down to the lovely `Broken Doll' which rolls in with gentle drums and a soft flowing string section. It is the sound of a writer with a mature and considered approach, and the beautiful note she holds towards the end of the song sounds simply effortless and really adds an extra element of character.

The title track of the album is a strong song backed by relatively simple music composing a gentle piano part, well placed guitar and minimal strings. The result is to focus you on Paloma Faith's voice which is used to great effect throughout the track. It exhibits both soulful verses and strong swooping highs in the chorus. The strings subtly build through the track without ever over powering the effortless vocals. `Upside Down' is really good fun track with a bouncy drums section and a call and response chorus. The production makes it sound slightly like an old record but there is also a speak easy feel to it. `Romance is Dead' then twinkles and swirls with layered piano parts and swooping backing vocals.

Second single `New York' is a strong and slightly bitter track about betrayal by a lover. The actual story behind it is that Paloma Faith's boyfriend went on holiday to New York city once and then told her that he was never coming back because he had fallen with the city. The metaphor used in the writing of this song of depicting New York as a woman who seduced him works perfectly. Musically it is a fantastic song with a huge chorus in which Paloma is backed by a gospel choir that echoes her cry of "It was New York". Following track `Stargazer' starts with a twinkling piano part like the entrance to a dream. It is a broken hearted song with such strength of character that it will appeal to anyone who has ever loved someone without being loved in return, and the string section and chorus are a real highlight of the album.

The album finally closes out with `My Legs are Weak' and `Play On'. These two tracks play off eachother brilliantly with a simple piano part and dramatic orchestration in the first being followed by a mournful string section in the second which is like something crackling out of an early 20th Century radio. It is a strong finish to a very strong album.

Paloma Faith is a very talented woman and this has translated brilliantly into her debut album which is varied and intriguing with a good spread of pop songs that don't stick to conventions. Rather they are filled with her own soulful personality. This is a phenomenal debut.
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on 31 August 2010
If you are looking for a fresh, energetic and soulful CD then look no further. I recently had the pleasure of seeing Paloma Faith at a festival. I had not really heard of her before but a friend was extremely jealous when I said I was going, as I was told she is really good. On that recommendation I bought the CD and was so glad I did.

This CD is very well constructed and sounds much more mature than the average debut CD. Stone Cold Sober is a great opening track which pulls you in straightaway with Paloma's instantly recognisable voice, clever lyrics and great use of instruments. My attention was grabbed and I was propelled through more of Paloma's imaginative music. A variety of styles and moods keeps you interested throughout and the tracks tick by until you reach the epic New York, a tale of losing her man to the Big Apple, a song which grows with the support of a gospel chorus. The CD drifts into a quieter, slower, but no less impressive end.

Brilliant debut, can't wait to hear more from Paloma!
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With rave reviews and much hype I bought Paloma faith's album with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. Could it live up to all that praise? I am glad to say it did.

Her voice and music reminded me, in a good way, of The Noisettes album `Wild Young Hearts' (which is worth a go if you enjoy this). They are quite similar but different enough to stay interesting. Stand out tracks are album opener `Stone Cold Sober', `Upside Down' and `New York'. This last track has great backing vocals in the last minute and my wife loves singing along with it at full belt.

This manages to offer songs with a swinging beat, which are very upbeat and slower tracks like `My Legs are Weak.' which slowly builds and shows Paloma's voice off to wonderful effect.

This is a very accomplished debut album and is well worth a listen. Some may dismiss this as jumping on the bandwagon of Amy Winehouse or Duffy, but a) this is a very different beast and b) it is often much better. I'm glad (for me at least) it lived up to it's promise and suggest you give it a go and make up your own mind.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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I really enjoyed this album - the vocals are effortless and pitched perfectly for every song and always capture the lyrics with the right amount of emotion. Some great tracks, especially the title track and New York, that will appeal to many. Not a bad track here in my view. I really look forward to a great future for Paloma Faith.
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on 27 November 2010
Paloma Faith, musician, actress, song writer and performer extraordinaire smashes the pop genre out the park with this wide vocal collaboration of soulful touches, of catching songs and purposeful lyrics that will delight many people of various ages and genders.

Myself, 21 year old male have listened to this frequently in the evenings to help me chill out from work, and on long walks on my phone.

Each song has a strong backing tune that always feels passionate to its purpose, such strong examples include "My legs are weak" and "Play on" missing strong beats and strong lyrics for the desired relaxation effect.

With a vibrancy and uniqueness to rival a Rihanna or a Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith is one to watch for the future, especially since she dived into acting as well.

There are 10 tracks on this record, with not a bad one on there and in complete honesty all sounding varied and unique, it is that special this album.

Released singles have not received the right chart recognition but all remain stand outs. "Stone cold sober" is a great upbeat lively smash whilst recent release "Smoke and mirrors" comes with a narrative connotation demonstrated in the music video.

Another great quality of this 2009 release is that half the songs are relaxing soulful pop songs, such as the album title track and "Broken Doll" and the others are vibrant ecstatic bouncers, "Upside down" and "New York"

I cannot recommend this album enough and I will close by saying this is quite possibly one of 3 albums I have listened to in my life where there is no bad or inconsistent track. Faith's album is vibrant, energetic and truly unique, have a listen and you will not be let down.

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on 20 November 2009
Paloma Faith offers up a selection of love gone wrong ranging from Big Band Swing with Living Upside Down, to a Celtic court of Love with Do you Want the Truth or Something Beautiful. New York is sad and melancholoy, and her vocals are smooth and haunting. The chorus singing in the background with her raises all hairs on end - so beautiful! My personal favorite is Stone Cold Sober - the video shows her as one of the most beautiful and eclectic women I have ever seen - fresh, mysterious, colorful, wild and beautiful!

Paloma will be bringing us great music for many years and attract a wide age range in her audience. Broken Doll is another smooth piece and filled with an emotional range that "can bring teardrops to your eyes".
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on 18 August 2010
I bought this album for my Hubby for his birthday just a couple of weeks ago, honestly thinking it would be yet another in his collection that I can't wrong was I?!

This has already worked its way into my collection under the guise of me burning a copy to my much loved MP3!! I won't go into a run-down of the songs as there are plenty of other reviews that do this, but I will say that Paloma Faith's album is simple infections!

The songs are so catchy you can't help but love them. That is if you're not a hard core pop fan, I have to admit that my taste in music is open, it might not be mainstream enough for some, but hey all I will say to that is your loss.
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on 22 June 2010
Just got this cd this morning. I ordered it after seeing the lady in question doing an acoustic rendition on tv from this years iow festival. I thought how great she sounded and was keen to hear more.... Well I wasnt dissapointed, this album is full of great lyrical melodies beautifully sang. I liked every song at first listen (a very positive sign of a fab album) and they grow on you even more with each play.
I love Palomas style, she gives the presence of a strong beautiful woman with a voice to match. Im glad I bought her album and thoroughly recommend giving it a listen...Im sure that if you do.... you will be glad that you did!
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on 6 June 2011
OK, two star reviewers saying "try record using analogue and not digital." For starters these songs will have gone through a lot of analogue equipment and digital will have been used where suitable too. These recordings sound analogue. People spend years developing equipment to enhance clarity and remove horrible sounds but you think it's a good idea to ignore technology, don't use these cutting edge production facilities and leave the music sounding dead and lifeless and quiet. It's not over produced, it's called clarity. If you had seen Paloma live on a top sound system, like I did at Ruby Lounge, you would understand that there is little difference between the live sound and the recorded sound apart from that live power of ripping bass, which I thought would make the building fall down. Saying she sounds X Factorish by trying to put on an American accent is a ridiculous comment. She sings in the same accent that she talks in and it doesn't sound American. Two star reviewers tried comparing the arrangements to Kate Bush and saying that they are boring in comparisson. I just listened to the Kate Bush song and it has virtually no arrangement and is completely boring. Get a grip. Someone said they weren't impressed by Paloma's voice, fair comment. Paloma doesn't have the best voice and she says so too. She has an OK voice but she combines it with a fun personality, presence, performance, a little crazyness, likeability and good quality, original songs with an old twist to them. What she has achieved with this debut is a good sounding album with some great tracks and some good tracks and the odd rubbishy song too. They all flow well and I don't often find myself skipping tracks, it is one of those albums that you can play from start to finish and know that it's not going to offend you at any point. Overall ignoring the one or two rubbish songs, it is a class album. Well worth purchasing.
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