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I was browsing round you tube one day when I came across a song by Paloma faith and the song was pretty good and I thought she had a good voice so when her second album fall to grace was released in may 2012 I decided to get myself a copy and I was not disappointed.
1) Picking up the pieces - This to me is a song wrote about being in a rebound relationship, and she is there trying to pick up the pieces. The tune is a song with a slight beat to it, and really good lyrics.
2) 30 Minute love affair - This song starts pretty slowly on the first verse, then when it gets into the songs the drum comes in with a slight beat, not too much of a beat though just enough to keep it as a nice slow song. The lyrics and song are once again good on this song.
3) Black and blue - This is a song I was not really keen on, the lyrics seemed meaningful, but to me the music was just too slow, and you could hear her voice more rather than any of the music. It just was not a song for me but others may like it.
4) Just be - This is another good song, the song is slow with just a piano playing the music and the lyrics are good also.
5) Let me down easy - This song was not one of my favorites how ever it was still worth a listen to and it is not a song I will skip. Its a song that seems to have a bit of a beat in it, however that comes more from her singing than the music.
6) Blood sweat & tears - This song has more of a beat to it from that start, which seems to slow down but then build back up again. It is a good catchy song to listen to.
7) Beauty of the end - This is probably the most catchy song on here, the tune, the lyrics if this song, nothing can be said bad about this one. It does have a beat to it, but nothing too fast just right for the lyrics.
8) When your gone - This starts off with very little music at the start of the song, then it comes to a more of a beat a little bit into the song. The song is another good one to listen to.
9) Agony - Another one that starts with very little music, but then starts to get into more of a beat, I found this is another song that I seemed to get really into and it is in my top 3 easily.
10) Let your love walk in - This starts of with a piano intro and continues with just the piano playing, with a slight beat in the background. The song is also catchy and the tune is really good to the song.
11) Freedom - Another song with just a little bit of slow background music to start, with a beat coming in part way through the song, and the beat seems pretty fast on this song compared to others, and the lyrics and music are both good on this.
12) Streets if glory - This is another song that starts slow, then speeds up very slightly, the song is good, and so are the lyrics but it can get a little boring this song.
My overall opinion
I do really like this album, but some of the tunes on the songs seem pretty repetative, with just the words changing. However I do not think this spoils the CD much at all, she has a lovely voice, and a very unique voice, there is a couple of songs on here that I am not a big fan of, but I still listen to the album all the way through. I would recommend this to buy as it is a good album, and very easy to listen to.
I really liked Paloma Faith's 2009 album 'Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful', so when she returned with a new CD in Spring 2012 I was pretty excited. Unfortunately the album didn't live up to my expectations.
Paloma's rich, soulful voice is still here, and it sounds just as good as ever. Unfortunately the songs themselves aren't generally that great. There's none of the spark of Upside Down or the quirkiness of the last album's title track. Instead, we are presented with a chain of ballads that veer towards the dreary.
Lead single Picking Up the Pieces is a reasonable but not particularly memorable ballad; it isn't exactly a bad song but it lacks the charm and the individuality of the songs on the previous album. Paloma seems to have to conformed to a generic female soul singer mould, and has lost a lot of her individuality. Ballads such as the mediocre Beauty of the End and repetitive Agony didn't make much of an impact on me, and the chorus of the former song actually rather irritates me.
Black & Blue is a kind of social commentary, in which Paloma looks beneath the surface of various characters and sings about their issues. It's an admirable sentiment but it sounds wrong coming from her. The song isn't particularly great either. 30 Minute Love Affair is a passable effort but again, it strikes me as rather dull.
Not all the songs on Fall to Grace are so bad. Just Be is a stripped-back piano track which bored me on first listen but has grown on me; its simplicity is its strength and Paloma's voice is showcased to its best effect. Let Me Down Easy has a smoky club atmosphere and a Peggy Lee-like jazz rhythm. Blood, Sweat and Tears is one of the more uptempo songs on the album, with a retro dance beat. Let Your Love Walk In is a ballad, but in my opinion better than many of the others on the album, being more distinctive and memorable.
Unusually for an album, things actually get better towards the end. Freedom is an upbeat, catchy song with a sophisticated rhythm, while closing track Streets of Glory ends the CD with a flourish. It is dramatic and displays better than any other song on the album Paloma's theatrical nature.
I read several reviews of this record on Amazon, many of which slated the album; I admit I shared their opinion at first. I was very disappointed the first time I listened to it and found it very hard to pick out any standout tracks. After several listens, the album started to grow on me to a certain extent and while it by no means compares to Paloma's first album, and I still tend to listen to it as background music rather than anything else, I don't dislike it as much as I did.
This album was - and is - a disappointment to me, but I've stuck with it and my opinion has certainly improved from what it was. If you liked Paloma's quirky, individual debut album this may disappoint you, but if you consider it on its own merits, and give it some time, you may grow to enjoy it.
1. Picking Up the Pieces
2. 30 Minute Love Affair
3. Black & Blue
4. Just Be
5. Let Me Down Easy
6. Blood, Sweat & Tears
7. Beauty of the End
8. When You're Gone
10. Let Your Love Walk In
12. Streets of Glory
I have been a fan of Paloma Faith for a while and when her album was released in May I was really eager to get a copy and hear some of her other music. I was completely won over by her 2009 debut "Do you want the truth or something beautiful." She has such an unusual voice that really gives me shivers down the back of my neck. On the whole, I was a bit disappointed with the album and the reason being is that I bought it for her voice. I wanted to hear her lovely spine tingling vocals rather than a bunch of electronic sounds. I wonder whether she is trying to be different and wants to get away from the single woman songstress like Adele and create more interesting sounds. I have never been a fan of electronic keyboards where you push a button and you get various different sounds coming from it and I feel that this album uses it a little bit too much. This girl does not need to try, she has it all and she is loved for her voice. I was a bit disappointed with some of her lyrics too and some songs felt rushed. The last track for example is completely unremarkable and it is like she just wanted to end the album and put it on the market. There are some good songs and I still really like her; I just feel a bit let down. I will run though the tracks so you can see what I mean:
==Picking Up the Pieces==
This is beautiful song that is really powerful. It is one of those girlie songs that talks about 'getting knocked down but getting back up again.' However the song is different to all others because it talks a guy that gets his heart broken and then he meets a new girl but the new girl is left picking up the pieces she left behind. It is really hard to have a relationship with someone new when the ex is still hanging over you. It reminds me of a Lana Del Rey song because it is quite different. This song does not show off Paloma's voice; her voice is amazing and to me it sounds just like any other female vocalist. It is a good fun song though and I enjoy listening to. I once found myself in a similar situation so I can identify with many of the lyrics.
==30 Minute Love Affair==
This is the recently released track in August and it is one of my favourites. I like the depth of the song and it really shows off the depths of her voice and her range. It sounds like a classic Madonna song but where Madonna lacks a vocal range, Paloma most certainly delivers. It has an upbeat pop sound to it and I think it is one of my album favourites.
==Black & Blue==
This song has a lovely rhythm from piano chords that works in perfect harmony to her voice. It is an interesting song with some great lyrics and a sing along chorus. It is a bit anthem song and you can really belt the chorus out. "Don't roll your eyes my sweet..." It really makes me sing at the top of my lungs. I had it in my car and was belting it out of the window, I was singing at the top of my voice, "We are all the same, we get desperate sometimes...!" I got some really funny looks but it is such a good track.
This song is really mellow and has a really beautiful mix of piano chords that sound subtle in the background of the song. The focus is certainly on her voice and she really shows off her range in this song. It is quite a sad song about love and longing. At one point she starts whispering in the song and the husky tones she has really sends shivers down my back. It is a beautiful song and I think it would be a great alternative wedding song. It is about true love. We all get frustrated with our partners and cross but underneath it all we love them dearly and we wait for the wave to wash it over.
==Let Me Down Easy==
This song starts with a funky beat using drums and clicking fingers. It has a real jazz feel to it and she really shows her husky tones off. I can imagine her performing the song in a smoky New Orleans bar. It probably is one of my least favourite songs but I like the fact that it is different and denotes a change in tempo to the album. It is quite a short song and she tends to repeat title of the song a little bit too much for my liking.
==Blood, Sweat & Tears==
This song starts and it reminds me of a theme tune to a game show. It uses an electronic guitar and drums mixed with an interesting electronic keyboard sound. I do not like this song as I do not like all the silly whooshes and pops. It sounds like it is trying too hard. This is a woman who does not need any silly tools to make a song successful. Her voice is enough. It has a really weird 80's beat to it that is reminiscent of a Goldfrapp sound. I hated this song at first but it grows on you. It is not a favourite but it is not one that I skip past.
==Beauty of the End==
What can be better than an acoustic guitar and her gorgeous voice. It starts so well this song and you think it is going to be another mellow track but then it changes tempo and a beat kicks in with drums, guitar and trombone. It is really lulls you in to a false sense of security and then hits you with a fun bouncy track. It is not one of favourites though as she repeats the chorus just one too many times.
==When You're Gone==
Finally I get to talk about my favourite song! What a beautiful song that draws you in so slowly with a sultry beat, you know that the song is going somewhere. Then it kicks in and she belts out these beautiful lyrics about being in love and missing someone. It has a great chorus and for once it is not over complicated with instruments. It takes you on a great lyrical journey and has the anthem feel, I can imagine it being a hit when she does a live tour.
From the title of this song you know it is going to be about getting hurt. She starts off with her husky tones and talks of being used and hurt. In the background is strong electronic beat and although I again think it sounds slightly 80's, it is quite a nice song. I just think it is a bit fast and I would have preferred it a little bit slower. Her lyrics start off great but the chorus of, "This is agony..This is agony. This could end in tragedy," leaves a lot to be desired. Really disappointed with this short song.
==Let Your Love Walk In==
This is definitely one of my favourites. I can hear the Annie Lennox influences in this song and her voice sounds quite similar. This is a lovely song and she really puts her all in to the song. It is about letting someone love you after all the hurt you have had before. It is about learning to close the doors to previous mistakes and starting again with someone new. I love to sing along to this and I love the build up to the chorus. It is a great track and when her scratchy voice reaches up so high, it gives me goose bumps. She has a great voice and this shows it off.
This song is brilliant. My favourite songs are the ones where her voice does most of the work. It is a poppy, bouncy song and when she shouts freedom, the song gives me this sense of elation. It is a feel good, happy powerful song that makes me smile. This sort of song is the reason why I like this artist. I want to listen to songs that make me feel good and this is one of those. It is not a forgettable song and I sing it all day when I listen to it!
==Streets of Glory==
As this is the last track on the album I was not sure how it was going to end. It is completely unremarkable and very boring. It is a waste of a track and I really wanted the album to end on a high. This song is slow and mellow but it is boring. "You cannot teach because you cannot learn." This is about as exciting as this song gets. I'm not really sure of the point of the song and it is one that I skip past quite regularly.
You can buy the album for £6.99 form music shops, supermarkets and online. It is worth uying if you like the artist but you could just get away with downloading a couple of the MP3 tracks as some are a waste of time. I feel bad about giving this album 3 stars because I really wanted to love it. Perhaps if more effort had gone into the lyrics and the annoying electronic sounds had been dropped, it would have been a much higher rating. Picking up the pieces and When you're gone are definitely worth a listen and are superb songs. I would most certainly love to see her perform these songs live; they give me tingles down the back of my neck.
Paloma Faith is a 27 year-old English singer/songwriter, hailing from Hackney in London. She first came to my attention a couple of years ago when she released her second single "New York" in 2009. The song was catchy and soulful and after hearing it I immediately became a fan of her incredible talent. Paloma has a very unique voice which is instantly recognisable and oozes class and soul. Her first album "Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?" was a huge success and gave her a number of hit singles. This album launched Paloma to stardom and had led her to duet with the likes of Cee Lo Green, Plan B and Elton John. She has also dabbled in acting, appearing in such films as "St. Trinian's" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus".
Fall to Grace
I bought this album after hearing Paloma perform her first single from it, "Picking Up The Pieces", on an episode of The Voice. I instantly connected with the song and wanted to hear more of what the album had to offer! The album was released in May 2012 and peaked at number 2 in the UK album charts. Paloma co-wrote a lot of the songs on the album and she stated that it was very personal to her and it was inspired by a specific time in her life. The album has a pop/jazz/soul feel to it and Paloma's incredible talent shines through on each track. The songs aren't all consistently as good as each other but it is still a lovely album to listen to.
1. Picking Up The Pieces: 5*/5*
2. 30 Minute Love Affair: 5*/5*
3. Black & Blue: 4*/5*
4. Just Be: 4*/5*
5. Let Me Down Easy: 4*/5*
6. Blood, Sweat & Tears: 3*/5*
7. Beauty Of The End: 5*/5*
8. When You're Gone: 5*/5*
9. Agony: 4*/5*
10. Let Your Love Walk In: 3*/5*
11. Freedom: 5*/5*
12. Streets Of Glory: 3*/5*
For me the highlight of the album are the following songs. I have chosen to talk about these songs because they all struck a chord with me and I wanted to listen to them again straight away.
*Picking Up The Pieces*
This is the first single from "Fall To Grace" and Paloma's best charting single to date. It is a lovely song about trying to compete with a lovers ex-girlfriend. I would describe it best as a fast-paced ballad full of angst and emotion. The vocals are strong and soulful and you can tell that the lyrics are very genuine and sincere. Overall a very catchy song and the reason that I bought the album.
*30 Minute Love Affair*
This is the second single to be released from the album. It is a very catchy song which cleverly tells the story of a 30 minute love affair and how brief yet incredible it was. Paloma's voice sounds incredible and the song really suits her. The song is quite upbeat and will have you singing along in no time.
*Beauty Of The End*
I am a huge fan of this song, simply because the old school jazz style takes me back in time. Paloma's voice is stunning and the lyrics are once again very emotional. It reminds me of a song that Amy Winehouse would possibly sing.
*When You're Gone*
This is a beautiful ballad about missing somebody. It has everything that a great pop song needs and more! The lyrics are quite sad but they are sung so beautifully by Paloma. It wouldn't surprise me if this is a future single for Miss Faith.
I love this song because it is really uplifting and I love the piano instrumentals throughout. Paloma's soulful voice is stunning and I love the message that this song promotes, freedom. "Light up this city with out freedom", a beautiful song and possibly my favourite overall!
The album cover of "Fall To Grace" is very artsy and attractive. It is a beautiful illustration of Paloma in a stunning red dress surrounded by two parrots.
Price and Availability
The album can be downloaded from iTunes for £5.99. I think that this is good value as each individual track is £0.99.
Overall I think that this album is very good. The songs that I have highlighted are by far in my opinion the best. Paloma Faith is capable of portraying a lot of emotion in her music and providing thought-provoking lyrics and this album is no exception. There is a heart rending song on this album for every love occasion and the majority of the songs do ooze a certain class, beauty and uniqueness. I find that I have to be in the right mood to listen to this album as it is quite deep, a bit like "Adele's 21". A few of the songs are really easy to listen and I enjoy playing them in the background to my day, I love "Freedom"!
I would definitely recommend this album to anybody who is already a fan of Paloma or somebody who is looking for something different to listen to.
Thank you for reading : )
Review also on Ciao under luceey.
I managed to miss Paloma Faith when her first album came around, but having been impressed by what I heard from her on the soundtrack to the film "4, 3, 2, 1", I was determined not to do the same the second time around. In the interim, Faith has been a BRIT Award nominee and a coach on "The Voice", which suggests she's pretty highly thought of in the industry. The second album took a while coming around, but when it finally did it turned out to be a No. 2 charting album and produced her highest charting single, so it had to be worth a look.
The album opens with the lead single "Picking Up the Pieces" and it's not a bad start at all. A gentle start soon expands into an up-tempo pop number with a driving drum beat that gives it a strong pop influence. It's perhaps slightly generic in sound and could be any number of female pop artists and the music is a little overpowering, drowning out the vocals in some parts, but it's a decent opening nonetheless and I can see how this made the Top 10 of the singles chart.
The second single and the second track is "30 Minute Love Affair". Another gentle opening once again picks up a Euro-pop style drum and synthesiser beat and it instantly reminds me of a lot of the pop music I grew up listening to in the 1980s. The music can be a little too much for the vocals once again, but again this is an enjoyable song, especially as it takes me back to my youth.
Next up is "Black & Blue" and as soon as the vocals kick in, it makes me think of the late Amy Winehouse. This is a slower song and the music is much simpler and further down in the mix which allows Faith's impressive voice to come through a lot stronger than on earlier tracks. It also lets the lyrics have more impact and it's certainly worth listening to on that basis as well, with lines like "I know people who use chat rooms as confessionals" catching current issues very nicely. But all this pales when the chorus kicks in, where the song opens up and becomes nearly anthemic, with perhaps a touch of the Adele about it.
"Just Be" is another simple song, driven by the vocals and a piano and it showcases how good a voice Paloma Faith has. There's a lovely mix between her really belting out the vocals and much quieter sections, in a mix that reminds me of an old Bjork song. The simple pop style with the vocals to the fore is again reminiscent of Adele, but I can't see how this is a bad thing in any way. This is a lovely song to have on in the background whilst relaxing and it ends beautifully, in such a way that it's noticeable, compared to many songs that end by repeating the chorus to fade. This may be the longest track on the album, but it drifts you along so beautifully that you wouldn't notice.
There's a very strange heavily synthesised opening to "Let Me Down Easy" that is completely out of place coming after the stripped down beauty of the previous couple of tracks. Once the vocals kick in, it sounds a little like Amy Winehouse singing an old 60s Motown or blues standard. All these elements should work together to bring out something decent, but the whole somehow doesn't match the sum of the parts and this is the first track on the album I didn't enjoy. Fortunately, it's a very short track and doesn't hang around too long.
The intro to "Blood, Sweat & Tears" always makes me think of The Jacksons' "Can You Feel It?", which seems a strange comparison to be drawing after what's happened on the album up until this point. As it turns out, the comparison is apt, as the song maintains a 70s disco beat and sound pretty much the whole way through. I quite like disco, so I tend to enjoy this track, but it is very generic and adds nothing to the genre, although it does stand out as being distinctive on this particular album but the switching of sounds over the last few tracks is a little unsettling.
The tempo slows down significantly for "Beauty of the End", which opens with just a guitar and the vocal, before expanding into an orchestral pop based song. The opening lines and many of the verses sound a little like Duffy, but the more expansive chorus has an Adele feel to it. Towards the end, there's an interesting middle eight that picks things up and adds a touch of soul to proceedings. There's a lack of consistency within the song that keeps you awake, but it's still a decent track.
"When You're Gone" has another gentle opening with piano and vocal to the fore again, but as with previous tracks, it grows into something more. The mix is just right and allows Faith's vocals to take centre stage and it's a beautifully performed song, although it once again has a very similar feel to much of Adele's work. As with "Just Be", this is one of the longer tracks on the album, but it keeps the attention all the way through with the beauty and simplicity of the song.
Every time I hear "Agony", especially the chorus, I keep thinking I've heard it somewhere before. I can't work out whether it's been used as a trailer or, given the content, as part of the BBC's sports coverage, or if it's just horribly generic. It returns to the 80s synth-pop feel of "30 Minute Love Affair" and whilst it adds nothing new, it's a track I always enjoy, even if the lyrical content is a little weak. To be honest, if this song hasn't been used to play out a BBC sports show, it soon will be.
"Let Your Love Walk In" is another fine example of the slower, yet beautifully done tracks on the album. Once again, however, it's largely generic and if this had appeared on an Adele album, it would have fitted in perfectly. It's a lovely pop ballad, as with so many on the album, with a gentler verse and a more expansive chorus that Paloma Faith has done so well several times on this album, but which always sound a little too much like Adele to be distinctive.
There's a lovely blues feel to the opening of "Freedom" that reminds me of some of the songs from "The Commitments". But after a few lines of this, the drum beat kicks in and it turns into a lovely soul influenced pop song. It's got just the right beat and feel that I could see this one being a great nightclub song as it has that feeling to it, with the foot tapping beat and the anthemic chorus.
After the previous few tracks, there is a great opportunity here to finish the album on a real high, which "Street of Glory" completely fails to take. It's a slow paced song with a slow drum beat and synth that leaves me expecting Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" to kick in at any moment. Maybe it's the similarity of the title to Adele's "Hometown Glory" that makes me feel this is another horribly generic moment, but then the cringe worthy lyric "I will be your memento mori / As you hide behind your made up story" appears and I realise it's worse than that and the end of the album is a relief.
Despite some decent moments, I find myself largely underwhelmed by the album as a whole. There are several changes of direction which make it difficult to listen to in a single sitting and even the best parts of the album offer nothing particularly distinctive that isn't available elsewhere. It's not a bad album in whole or in part, but there's nothing that makes it stand out above anything else, especially as parts sound a lot like Adele who, like Paloma Faith, has a great voice, but who had the advantage of getting there first.
The album is available relatively cheaply, with my local supermarket offering copies at £6.99 and Amazon offering the album at £6.47 for a new copy. Second hand copies can be had for as little as £4.20 plus postage at both the Amazon Marketplace and on eBay. But this is an album that has a few stand out tracks and rather a lot of generic filler and so better value can be had by simply downloading the best few songs and ignoring the rest.
Fall To Grace is the second album from British Singer/Songwriter Paloma Faith. The album was released in the United Kingdom in May 2012 and so it is very recent. The album is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £7.78 which I think is good value for money.
~ * Track Listing * ~
1) Picking Up The Pieces 2) 30 Minute Love Affair 3) Black & Blue 4) Just Be 5) Let Me Down Easy 6) Blood Sweat & Tears 7) Beauty of The End 8) When You're Gone 9) Agony 10) Let Your Love Walk In 11) Freedom 12) Streets of Glory
I like this album; it is full of charm and has quite a magical feel to it. I like how it feels as though you have escaped to a fairy-tale world and that you are being told a story when you listen to this album.
This album is quite different compared to Paloma's debut album (Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful); a lot of people have commented on how they are disappointed as they had expected this album to be of the same standard as the last one. I have to say, whilst this album is different to her first album; it's different in a good way. It is nice to see a change of direction and I think this album is a pleasant change; I will admit that it did take some time for me to get used to it; but I did find that it grows on you more and more as you listen more and more.
There are some fabulous songs on here, although my two favourites are definitely 'Picking Up The Pieces' which I think is a fantastic welcome to the album as it's quite dramatic. I also love the song 'Just Be' - it's a touching song and Paloma puts all of her emotions into it.
Paloma has a unique voice and an incredible vocal range!
All in all a good album which I would most certainly recommend!
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Picking Up The Pieces
2 30 Minute Love Affair
3 Black & Blue
4 Just Be
5 Let Me Down Easy
6 Blood, Sweat & Tears
7 Beauty Of The End
8 When You're Gone
10 Let Your Love Walk In
12 Streets Of Glory