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Keep the Faith

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Album Review

Keep the Faith is at once a reunion and a continuance, a record that finds Toni Childs re-teaming with David Ricketts — the producer who helmed her 1988 breakthrough Union — and finalizing material she wrote in the '90s. Given this long backstory, along with its staggered release schedule — it initially appeared independently and in Australia before showing up in the U.S. on a subsidiary of Savoy in 2009 — it's appropriate that Keep the Faith feels out of time, not belonging to its era, but certainly not an exercise in nostalgia, either. To a certain extent, that's always been true of Childs, whose multi-cultural, neo-hippie persona certainly felt like a throwback to the early '70s even when it fit comfortably next to Peter Gabriel's worldbeat explorations of the late '80s, but Keep the Faith is especially and pleasingly out of phase, touching on all these phases, sounding leaner yet fuller than her last album, 1994's The Woman's Boat. The long 14-year gap between records does mean that the songs on Keep the Faith are precisely observed and carefully written, not fussy but finished, and Ricketts helps them sound realized, turning Keep the Faith not into a comeback but a restatement of purpose.


Born: 29 October 1957 in Orange, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in Orange, California, Toni Childs grew up in a variety of locations around the U.S. and lived in London for four years, where she had a song-publishing deal with Island Music. She then moved to Los Angeles, where she became involved with David Ricketts (of David + David) and collaborated on the soundtrack for the film Echo Park (1986). Her debut album, Union, was recorded in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and Africa, and reflected an interest in the music of Zimbabwe as well as more conventional...
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Keep the Faith, Toni Childs
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