On her fourth album The Architect, R and B and soul singer Paloma Faith brings big choruses to the forefront, but continues to chase after the sound of other artists.
The title track is an indication of what’s in store, as clichéd lines such as, “I will forgive you, but I won’t forget” ring out over stirring strings and brass. Paloma’s vocals seem over-theatrical at times, trying to channel her inner Amy Winehouse.
And this is the case for most of the songs. The moody swing of Guilty recalls Winehouse’s Back To Black, and songs like Warrior, Still Around and Lost and Lonely aim for grandioseness, but Faith’s voice sounds artificial and insincere.
Faith also unashamedly rams home her political opinions throughout, with songs like WW3 and Politics Of Hope and Pawns being so overblown it’s distracting.
Faith’s voice sounds more comfortable on Crybaby, and along with Kings And Queens is one of the record’s highlights. John Legend’s featured vocals on I’ll Be Gentle offer some smooth harmonies alongside another powerful chorus, while Surrender favourably shows off Faith’s warble.
The Architect certainly provides a high level of bombast, but it falls short when Faith forces her voice rather than singing naturally.
Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge