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4.7 out of 5 stars
652
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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 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 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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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 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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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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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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on 2 July 2011
Hi there. I had never heard of Paloma Faith but I had heard the catchy
track "Upside Down" which led me to purchase the CD from Amazon.
You will not be disappointed if you place an order.
Paloma Faith is young, beautiful and has the most fresh sounding voice I
have heard from an artist for some time. I think she is BRILL and this is
coming from a lady of 59 years.........!!! I blast "Upside Down" in my car
and nearly know all the words now lol. Rest of the tracks good too!!!
Don't let my age put you off, order it for yourself and I am sure you will
pleased that you did.............FAB CD
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on 11 September 2010
Having not seen any genuinely 'talented' and original artists on the scene for decades, I was quite impressed seeing Paloma Faith on TV. What a breath of fresh air she is. Her voice is actually expressive and she demonstrates a feel and understanding of the mastery of singing. Her style is strange, original and fun. Paloma's confessions of, "I've always been a bit strange" are really refreshing from the talent show fodder.

Sony, unfortunately, have let her down. The arranging of the music is extremely bland and lacking in any original musical ideas. A very 'safe' commercial bland that will doubtlessly edge Paloma to the cheapy basket quite soon.
The overproduction of the music making it 'muzak' is very dull and predictable. Her voice is very good. It does not need mangling though digital effects until all of the life has been wiped from it. It needs a rougher sound. What about an analogue recording instead of digital for a bit of edge?

Sony need to take a risk with this girl. She can do something extraordinary in this 'Age of Mediocrity' that we find ourselves in. Paloma Faith needs some sort of risky original arranging like Bjork 'Debut' or Kate Bush 'The Hounds of Love' or Adnan Sami 'Tera Chera' or Özlem Tekin 'Öz'. But no more of this blandness to kill a good voice. Give Paloma something dynamic, something original, something to help us to excape and forget about 'talent shows' forever and ever and ever. GOOD LUCK!
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on 10 October 2015
Bought for a silly price. like 5 quid delivered or something. I dont know how anyone could refuse! She has some seriously good tunes here. and this one is a must if you even think you might like her but you are not quite sure. If you saw one of her tunes on an advert and you think you want to buy FALL TO GRACE instead. Then by all means go for it but for my money I would get the pair.
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