- Audio CD (28 May 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: RCA
- ASIN: B0077FGW3A
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (826 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Fall To Grace
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Paloma wrote and recorded Fall To Grace in London in 2011/2012. The album is produced by Nellee Hooper (Bjork, No Doubt, Massive Attack, Madonna) along with Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran). Fall To Grace is the follow up Paloma’s debut album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? which was released in 2009 and spawned the hit singles "Stone Cold Sober", "New York", "Do You Want the Truth Or Something Beautiful?" and "Upside Down".
On Fall To Grace, Paloma has chosen to strip herself emotionally bare. “At the beginning I wanted to do something that was more of a performance, and I still have that element because it is part of me,” she explains, “but I feel like where I’ve been most successful is when I’ve just relaxed and been myself. I feel totally, wholeheartedly behind this album. I feel like it belongs to me and I belong to it.”
Musically, Fall To Grace moves away from the reference points that characterised Paloma’s first record such as Etta James and Billie Holiday, guiding her compositions into a new, contemporary realm. Collaborating with songwriters such as Ed Harcourt, Matt Hales (Lianne La Havas), Dan Wilson (Adele), Wayne Hector (Britney, Westlife), and even film score composer David Arnold (countless James Bond films, Independence Day, Narnia), Fall To Grace is sonically varied, but completely cohesive. From the disco throb of "Blood, Sweat and Tears" and the giddy dance-pulse that runs through "Agony", to "Freedom" (produced and co written by Al Shuckburgh), with its shuffled beats and soaring peaks, Faith’s vocals offer bluesy power and reveal husky emotion.
Paloma Faith makes a great pop star: sharp as a hatpin, mouthy enough to reprimand The Voice after her "realistic" comments were reportedly cut from a recent guest spot, and no stranger to the dressing-up box (check out this album's cover).
Her 2009 debut, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, was a respectable success, spawning a couple of top 20 hits and slowly going platinum. But this follow-up should make her a singer who doesn't need a surname: "Did you see what Paloma was wearing on telly last night?"
Faith's savvy and ambition show in her choice of collaborators. Fall to Grace is co-produced by Jake Gosling, fresh from success with Ed Sheeran, and Nellee Hooper, a class act who's worked with everyone from Björk to Madonna. Faith calls the latter an "interpreter" of her musical ideas; the pair would discuss her songs in relation to scenes or images from films and Hooper would translate these ideas into soundscapes.
It sounds like it. Lead single Picking Up the Pieces is epic, like stallions galloping across the silver screen, and Fall to Grace has several other grand, cinematic ballads. However, Faith and Hooper know that films aren't just about big Oscar-grabbing moments, so they vary the tone.
30 Minute Love Affair is Annie Lennox-style synth-pop. Let Me Down Easy works a kind of "supper club dub" sound. Agony seems to be rewriting Lana Del Rey’s Video Games, but then decides to sound like Tori Amos covering Mr. Brightside. Phew!
None of the sumptuous production would matter if Faith hadn't delivered some decent tunes. She counts Eg White (Leave Right Now) and Dan Wilson (Someone Like You) among her co-writers, so her choruses soar accordingly, but there's also an emotional honesty to her songs. Most of them deal with relationships as knotty and dramatic as Helena Bonham Carter's hair. "It takes two imperfect people to dance a sweet ballet," she sings on Blood, Sweat & Tears, offering a neat précis of the Paloma perspective: romantic but realistic.
The quality slips towards the finish, but not enough to spoil a supremely accomplished sophomore album. Fall to Grace is proof that pop doesn't need to be grey and restrained to feel grown-up.
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Top Customer Reviews
I can see where some who loved Do You Want The Truth may not ever get into Fall To Grace,and I can even understand why,there is a big difference between them.Just dont be too hasty to judge,give it a chance and give it time,Im so glad I did.If you dont like it then,fair enough,it would be a boring world if we all like the same thing.But give its charms and magic chance to fully work.
Straight away the songs collectively feel more mature and solid and Faith seems to have crossed over in having more in common nowadays with Adele than Amy Winehouse, with standout tracks Picking Up The Pieces, Black & Blue & When You're Gone sounding like songs that have been left off Adele's 21.
30 Minute Love Affair is instantly catchy and songs like Agony & Let Your Love Walk In will go down as exceptional pop tunes of the decade.
Although Do You Want The Truth....? had a lighter feel, this collection of songs has more substance and will stand the test of time and an album I think I will come back and back to for years to come.
Congratulations Paloma! Well done
Yes. This album is smart and sophisticated. Picking up the pieces is a tremendous opener o an album, full of grace and glamour. 30 minute love affair is more electro pop than what we are used to, but because it is Paloma, she pulls it off well. It is the same for Black & Blue. Then we come to one of the saddest songs I have heard. Just Be. This song sounds great live as well. From there on the quality gets a little worse, but it is only a matter of time before she finds her feet. I think that Agony or Freedom will be the next single.
All in all, don't listen to the bad reviews. This album will make you smile and cry at the same time. One of the albums of the year!
That being said, I have persevered with the hope that it will grow on me but I found myself missing the bouncy fun element of songs like "Upside Down" (which to me typify Paloma's quirky and fun personality) or the class of songs like "Do you want the truth..." or "New York". Instead, I found these new songs lacking enthusiasm or great hooks. Lyrically, they were also a bit clunky in places and there seemed to be a move away from the maturity and class of the first album towards more pop/dance beats that left you feeling like you'd heard this all before (in some cases 20 years ago, like with the funky drummer beats on "Freedom"). It's ironic really as I think they may have been trying to update her sound to fit somewhere in today's "R&B lite" littered pop charts.
That being said, Paloma's voice is in fine form on this album and her vocals definitely seem to have moved up to a new level in terms of depth and range.
Lastly, I don't want to sound like this is a terrible album, because it really is not that bad. The second half of the album is better for me than the first half but it's just not something I can see myself keeping in my cd changer for the long haul. Maybe album 3 will be a "Phoenix to the Ashes" (I'll copywrite the title just in case...), who knows. :-)