Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction
From the theatrics of her debut to the balladry of follow-up Fall To Grace, Paloma Faith has never been an artist happy with standing still. Yet, a soul vibe was frequently in evidence and third album A Perfect Contradiction sees her take a journey into the past to fully explore that influence. Much like the Pharrell-produced opener 'Can't Rely On You', the album is slickly produced and strongly performed; unlike the lead single though, much of the album fails to provide memorable highlights to match it.
A Perfect Contradiction is certainly cohesive and defiant in its retro-tinged outlook, with Faith in peerless form on the upbeat 'Other Woman' and 'Trouble With My Baby'. Perhaps surprisingly, it stumbles somewhat in its slower moments: Faith gives it her all on 'The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall)' and 'Love Only Leaves You Lonely' but the tracks miss the emotional heft outside of her vocals to make much impact. This is avoided on the terrific and mesmerising Diane Warren-written 'Only Love Can Hurt Like This', the album's immediate stand-out along with 'Can't Rely On You'. Sadly, ear-catching moments like this are fleeting and as entertaining as it is when Faith lets loose (and you imagine it'll be a blast in a live setting), A Perfect Contradiction too often fails to capture the attention.