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on 12 March 2014
Paloma Faith has previously released two past albums that were, in my opinion, nothing short of pop perfection. However, upon hearing Can't Rely On You I wasn't quite sure what to expect - I'm not a fan of Pharell Williams which probably explains it. But the track is a grower and that is what can be said for most of the record.

Faith has said in a few interviews that she wanted to make a dance record with all killer and no filler. From the first three tracks this is very apparent. Can't Rely On You, Mouth To Mouth and Take Me are a trio of very danceable tracks that hark back to the glory days of Motown which is very much suited to Paloma's "Cabaret-esque" voice. Although Pharell only appears on the opening track, it is clear where his influence has been left within the rest of the songs.

Only Love Can Hurt Like This isn't quite up to her usual standards however, in fact it is considerably worse than I expect from her. The song just seems to drag on and the harmonies are few and far between - even when they are there they are heavily auto tuned.

After that A Perfect Contradiction romps through sad songs to happy tunes and all of them are totally single worthy (though it is indicating the mediocre Only Love Can Hurt Like This is up to be the next single). Any fans of Paloma or of Motown will probably find a lot in this record. Although it may not be Do you Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful in terms of elegance, this is definitely a worthy entry into Faith's catalogue.

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on 20 March 2014
I have seen and heard Paloma Faith from her early days of dark cellar bars and first radio plays. I have loved the raw energy she portrayed, her fantastic voice, original music and her colourful stage presence. How could I not have been drawn in by a powerful single, wonderful (typical) romanticised artwork, and again, the radio and video coverage of live performances. However, I can honestly say, for me, the album is a total disappointment. Overproduction and electro beats are not what Paloma Faith needs, she already has the qualities mentioned by the bucket load. The opening track is powerful, but overpowered by the excessive booming beat. Followed quickly by 10 manufactured tracks, that I can't help feeling, do not do Paloma justice at all. BUT not all is lost, because the best is yet to come, found in the extra bonus tracks, a 'kitchen' version of 'Can't Rely On You', is superb, followed up with, 'Trouble With My Baby', Only Love Can Hurt Like This' and the final track gratefully received, 'Its Not The Knowing'. This is the album for me, the rest will never get played at home, no doubt they will be aired on radio and in the clubs. It will not stop me looking out for Paloma in the future, its would be hard to believe you can produce consistent top albums on a production line. Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? Truth is, the final 4 tracks would have made a great EP, the rest, personally, should have been left in the studio, I await future developments with interest. Paloma, you are better than this. it receives 2 stars, those are purely for the 'extras'.
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on 10 March 2014
It's hard to believe that a national broadsheet newspaper 'awarded' this new album the dubious accolade of 'dud of the week'! Do these people actually listen to music or is it simply the case that journalists have to fill a certain number of column inches and writing any old thing will do?

Like many others, I have been moved by Ms. Faith's amazing voice which seems capable of doing anything she chooses to do with it. This was amply demonstrated on her two previous albums and, if her second album wasn't as good as the first, this new collection is arguably better suited to her siren call. There is no doubt that Ms. Faith is well suited to expressing the woes of love gone sour or bad. (If only she had been around when I was a teenager!)

The more upbeat songs have a real 'clickity click' feel about them and there is often a feeling of sly wit simmering beneath the surface which can be irresistible. It's early days for this album but I feel 100% sure it will gnaw itself into my consciousness.

Put simply, this album will appeal to the legions of Paloma's fans and those who don't like it can kiss their own a**!
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on 18 November 2014
When I first listened to the digital download the sound was terrible. I thought it was a defect in the ripping so was really disappointed when the same problems occurred on the CD. The mastering seems to be turned up so far that the sound is saturating and distorting. "Take Me" is the worst - I just can't listen to it. I've analysed the waveforms on the track and it shows square peaks where the sound is saturating, i.e. it's a real duff job. Sack whoever did this! I look forward to a 'remastered' version.

The best sounding tracks are the additional ones for the special edition, which don't seem to have been subjected to the producer's heavy fingers. If only the rest of the tracks were produced in the same way.

I've listened to the samples of the new version ("Outsider's Edition") on Amazon and "Take Me" sounds much the same. Shame, cos the production on the earlier albums was spot on, and the songs, and Paloma's voice, deserve better.
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on 10 May 2014
Firstly, let me say a little about my "contradictory" Paloma History - loved the first album so much, hated the second album in equal measures (as you can read in my Fall to Grace review). On this basis, I approached her third release with some trepidation - would it be a return to form or a reason to give up the ghost and move on from an artist that I always felt was probably one of the best soul singers this country had ever produced. Well, I'm happy to report that this record is a TOUR DE FORCE of an album!

From the first tight funky groove of "Just Can't Rely on You" (which nods, nay headbands firmly in the direction of Beyonce's "Work It Out") to the last Prince-ly groove of "It's the Not Knowing", this record just never relents in delivering great songs with respectful, tasteful production topped off with Paloma's pristine vocals added the final flawless cherry on the cake. Can't tell you how excellent I think this record is. I actually think it's a classic that should rocket her deservedly to superstardom. I hope this shifts the volume that it deserves to shift, both here and in the USA (who I would think would drink in this album like a man in a desert with a glass of cool water).

This record picks up the 60s soul baton that Amy Winehouse laid down with Back to Black and brings it firmly up to date, making it relevant and eminently danceable. I saw Paloma live on her Fall To Grace tour in Ipswich and the audience sat through the gig respectfully for the most part but rarely got too excited. I suspect when she tours this album people will be up on their feet throughout because these songs are undeniable and the energy in them is palpable.

Paloma's back. Maybe I should have had more Faith. :-)
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on 17 April 2014
This album is certainly more soulful than Paloma's first two efforts (I'll leave you to decide for yourselves whether that's a good thing or a bad one).

In my younger days I was a budding percussionist, so I am pleased at the amount of percussion used on this album - I can hear agogo bells on some tracks, amongst other instruments that don't often appear in modern music.

Moving on to the songs, I can honestly say I like every track on this CD with the exception of Take Me. An otherwise enjoyable song is ruined by that curse of the 1990s, a backing vocalist "whooping" every few seconds. If I could find a way to remove the whoops this would be a five-star album - instead, my finger will go straight to the fast-forward button every time this song starts. Another criticism is the use of electric drums on Impossible Heart, but they are not intrusive enough to spoil the song.

In addition to my earlier comment about a more soulful sound, there are times when I was reminded of Phil Spector's famous "Wall of Sound" (in a good way).

The deluxe CD ends with stripped-down versions of four songs (Can't Rely on You, Trouble With My Baby, Only Love Can Hurt Like This, and It's The Not Knowing). These work very well - in fact, I prefer the stripped down version of It's The Not Knowing to the version on the "main" album.
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on 27 April 2014
Great album with great songs ,but the sound quality of the production on this album is not very good IMO. Will try CD version to see if its any better! May be I have a bad copy. But enjoy the soul funk sound. Reminds me of James brown meets Amy Whinehouse.If production was good on vinyl I would have given it 5 stars
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on 31 December 2014
I bought this album as a present for my Dad, as he is a fan of Paloma Faith's latest songs and her voice. In my opinion, it could have been better if the song Changing was on this edition, as it is on the normal one. It does, however, feature the songs Can't rely on you, which has vocals from Pharel Williams, and the smashing hit, Only love can hurt like this. Also, I think it features too much live music. I know for a fact my Dad was not too keen on the live music. Apart from that, it is good. If you like Paloma Faith's past albums, you might like this. I would ask a relative or friend if they have a copy, and if so, if they can let it you borrow it, so that you can listen and decide if you would buy it.
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on 21 December 2014
Just what I wanted
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on 8 July 2015
What can i say about this album that people havent!!! I love this woman to bits,i live her quirky accent and her quirky style and laugh,i love everything about her shes amazing,this is a definate cd for all paloma fans out there,get ur friends to listen,ur parents,anyone!! Get them hooked in her cause once uv heard her voice u can not forget it,i love every single and her cds get better and better,i didnt think she,d beat her last cd but man shes smashed it! :-) paloma keep up the good work love you,cant wait to hear more
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