Staying true to her trademark theatricality, Paloma Faith’s second album ‘Fall to Grace’ dazzles from start to finish. Following on from her debut, ‘Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?’, Faith delivers a progressive, spell-binding record that gives a refreshing shake to the otherwise dire, over-manufactured offerings of female solo singers that are shoved down our protesting throats. The album offers a narrative of relatable love and heartache without labouring the point with tired clichés and confined metaphors.
Faith doesn’t manipulate her voice to do things that it can’t do, which is what gives the record it’s effortless flow that is more than difficult to find without coming across some auto-tuned catastrophe. Lyrically, ‘Fall to Grace’ is superb, heart rendering and sincere. The simplicity of Paloma’s words blend flawlessly with her soulfully toned voice, of which a shining example is “All the mystery and the magic, you light up what once was tragic” from ‘When You’re Gone’. Paloma’s stunningly upfront lyrics concerning love and loss surpass Adele’s overrated ‘Someone Like You’ by miles. In what seems to be a rough sea that spans the genres of female releases, ‘Fall to Grace’ is the diamond that is fit to stud musical royalty’s brow.
‘Just Be’ stands out massively due to its stripped back musical arrangement and simple reliance on Faith’s enchanting voice, accompanying the understated piano wonderfully. There is a subtle vulnerability in her voice that is utterly bewitching. Sprinkled with hints of Motown-going-into-early-Disco, ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ is a beautifully revived late-60s track.
There is nothing sweeter than the acoustic gems, which are added to the deluxe edition of an album. ‘Fall to Grace’ offers minimal piano renditions of ‘Picking Up the Pieces’, ’30 Minute Love Affair’, ‘Black & Blue’, ‘Just Be’ and ‘Agony’, all of which take on a new and unique feel.
All in all ‘Fall to Grace’ is an incredible album, which showcases Paloma’s potential to the full; it is brilliantly peppered with soulful, magical elements that are a breath of fresh air.