Paloma Faith - Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?

2010-01-25 14:58
Paloma Faith
Chances are, you've probably heard lead single "Stone Cold Sober" on the radio and thought, "Woah, who's that chick?" before getting distracted by the new Lady Gaga track that followed. I know that's what happened to me. Paloma makes an almighty impression on first listen, and her record label Epic/Sony don’t seem to have made a bigger fuss about her. Because they should. She's the more soulful Bjork, a less boring Duffy, a fierce new talent that's sweetness, light, poison and pain – and she's terribly addictive.

There certainly is a retro quality to her grand songs, which makes the Amy Winehouse comparisons instant and terribly lazy. The 24-year-old grew up mimicking her idols Billie Holiday, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald before cultivating her own voice – it's not exactly unique, and some would argue there has been a glut of "white chicks with soul" these last few years. But hearing the fragility of her tone on "Broken Doll" as she hits the high notes feels like a shot to the heart. And her playfulness of "Upside Down" recalls Depression-era jazz pop with a modern twist.

Her maturity is plainly evident on the glorious title track (which she co-wrote with Ed Harcourt) an epic tale that pits fantasy against reality and rewards with its beauty and class. Wow. But she's not above doing a bit of pop too – current hit single "New York" is poignant and all too true – that city has a habit of stealing hearts away. And if you still have breath in your body after hearing "Stargazer", you're probably a Cylon.

So, do you want the truth or something beautiful? Paloma Faith is both, and so much more. Go and get it.

Just who the hell is Paloma Faith? With that weird name, that shock of orange hair, that audacious, bewitching voice that has been burrowing itself under my skin for the past few days, like an omnipresent new friend, with comforting words, a warm hug, a dash of authenticity in a pop land rife with tricks, gimmicks and falsehoods.

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