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Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Paloma Faith's debut album comes in the wake of a slew of contemporaries who have received critical acclaim; her 2009 release puts her at least a year behind the likes of Duffy, Adele, Gabriella Cilmi, and the one who started it all, Amy Winehouse. Therefore, it's no surprise that Faith's debut, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, is heavily affected by many of these aforementioned songbirds. Faith's debut is swimming in that bruising, soulful melodrama that Winehouse glamorized back in 2007. Highlights such as the album's title track can remind a listener of Back to Black's finest moments. At the same time, Faith's debut honors the crisp, icy sounds that Duffy and Cilmi brought to the table to critical acclaim. Therefore, what remains to be seen is how she stands out from her Brit counterparts. What Faith offers more than anyone else is the theatrical quality that music craves. Her background as a burlesque dancer helps her deliver these penetrable lyrics in a truly remarkable way; in fact, it's her delivery that makes these tunes so haunting. Lyrics from "Romance Is Dead" and "Smoke and Mirrors" suggest that Faith has the raw, creative potential with a pen that transforms good singers into artists. The album drives into twisted themes, like a killer Anne Sexton poem that seems to defy social norms through fairy tales (see "New York"). However, where this album falls short is in the production quality. While albums such as 19 by Adele offer a flourishing set of raw tunes, Faith's tracks seem too glossy and processed, as if an executive has tried too hard to make many of these tracks way too commercial. And while this is a plus on the album's lead single, "Stone Cold Sober" (which is as much Duffy as it is Katy Perry), many of the tracks lose that dramatic intrigue that makes them so cool. The overall mood of the album feels a bit broken and battered, but comes off too polished to let that feeling drive home. On her next release, Faith should consider letting the artistry pave the way instead of the commercial drive; however, as a new artist already following so many in the same vein, sometimes we have to sell out just a touch to be heard and appreciated for what we can offer later on.

Customer Reviews

Born to perform!

This is a great album. Download it!

As someone who had the good fortune to perform with Paloma a few years ago on the London theatre/burlesque/dance scene I feel compelled to respond to the Amy Winehouse comparisons here and elsewhere on the web.

Paloma has been singing like this for years and is certainly no one's clone.
She's a unique girl full of charisma and if anything has been more difficult for her to break through after Amy did it first.
No one exists in a vacuum. Amy and Paloma emerged from the same London scene.

Let's celebrate them both and a great city for being such a hotbed of great talent.
But PLEASE let's enjoy Paloma as the true one-off show girl she most definetly is!

Incredible, fresh yet classic.

A voice that resembles Amy Winehouse but with elegance and class and Duffy but with soul and versatility.

Unique, bringing new life to many bygone eras.

Heartfelt with every line.

Definitely an album worth buying.

Outstanding!!!

Once in a while comes an artist who will just blow you away.Paloma Faith is just that artist.
I first heard her first song Stone Cold Sober in M&S of all places.Asked who was playing came home and downloaded the track.Next came New York which really blew me away.Soulfully sung and the video is awesome as well.Miss Faith is one of the best female artists around.Looking forward to listen to the album tonight while I am working.

Biography

Born: 21 July 1981 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A familiar presence on the London underground circuit for several years, the multi-talented Paloma Faith eventually broke into the mainstream thanks to her theatrical image and retro-soul sound. Born in Hackney to a Spanish father and English mother, she earned a degree in contemporary dance at university before studying for an M.A. in time-based arts at St. Martins College. At the age of 18, she made her debut on the cabaret scene, singing in a covers band called Paloma & the Penetrators, before...
Full bio
Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (Deluxe Edition), Paloma Faith
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