I think the reason it took me so long had to do with how big of a departure this record is from her spotty-but-fun-in-parts debut, Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful. That album gave a retro nod to 40s jazz, but was definitely a little too Mambo No 5 in parts, if you know what I mean. However, Fall To Grace, is an album that features more of Paloma’s gorgeous Sia-esque vocal chops, as opposed to that nifty (if overproduced) music which drove her debut.
What I particularly like about Fall To Grace over the last one is how subtly emotional many of the tracks seem to make me. The material this time around seems to fall mostly in the lost love category, and one only needs to read the titles of the songs in order to figure that out: Picking Up The Pieces, 30 Minute Love Affair, Black & Blue, Just Be, Let Me Down Easy, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Beauty On The End, When You’re Gone, Agony, etc.
Personally, I tend to like Paloma best with spare production that makes it easier for her to deeply emote every word she sings. Songs such as 30 Minute Love Affair, Just Be, and Beauty On The End have repeatedly sent me to the lyric book to try and fully grasp what she’s talking about. However, though many of her songs on this record are sad in tone, there’s a definite hopefulness and sense of optimism that comes across the more you listen; she’s always looking for beauty within pain – which is an admirable and inspirational trait in anyone.
The only misstep on Fall To Grace (in my opinion) is also interestingly the first single off the record, Picking Up The Pieces. It’s overproduced and makes Paloma over sing – something a jazzy vocalist should never feel the need to do. That track aside, the album is brilliant and an exciting step forward for Ms Faith.
Have a listen to two of my favorite tracks, Beauty On The End and Just Be below.
*Paloma Faith’s 2nd album, Fall From Grace, is out now in the UK and will be out later this year in the US.
Paloma Faith “Beauty On The End”
Paloma Faith “Just Be”