Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Perfectly Fine "Contradiction"

I first became a fan of British singer Paloma Faith when her sophomore album, Fall To Grace, was released in 2012. I enjoyed her powerful vocals and emotional, almost theatrical renditions of songs like “Let Me Down Easy” and the soul infused “Black & Blue.” Now the songstress is back with a new disc, entitled A Perfect Contradiction. The record opens with the funky, groove laden “Can’t Rely On You,” co-written & produced by Pharrell Williams, and it’s followed by the disco-fied “Mouth To Mouth,” which evokes memories of the Studio 54 era. It’s clear that this time out, the lady is having a dance party, and we're all invited. The album is full of old school R&B grooves, and you’ll also hear touches of soul, pop, jazz, & Motown in songs like “Other Woman,” and the fantastic “Love Only Leaves You Lonely.”

Faith co-wrote most of the tracks on the disc, along with a cadre of superstar co-writers & producers like Williams & Raphael Saadiq. There’s no denying she set out to make an album that evokes memories of an earlier musical era, but also has a modern feel to it. This is music that will make you want to dance & sing along. And for those fans looking for the Dusty Springfield meets Amy Winehouse style of earlier numbers like “Picking Up The Pieces” and “Beauty of the End,” that sound is also well represented here on standout tracks like “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” and “Trouble With My Baby,” as well as retro soul style of “Taste My Own Tears.”

Of course, none of this would work without Ms. Faith’s passionate voice & strong personality. She delivers strong performances & really brings these songs across; she makes you listen to her. While some listeners & critics find her a bit over the top & think her voice is somewhat shrill, I enjoy her work immensely. It’s a shame she hasn’t yet made a bigger splash in the US. If you’re looking for an enjoyable album that will reward you with some cool retro sounds and a modern twist, give A Perfect Contradiction a spin. Here are links to performances of “Can’t Rely on You,” and an acoustic version of “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” The album is now available on iTunes, and other online stores..

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