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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.

Biography

Born: 29 October 1957 in Orange, CA

Genre: Pop

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

Having had a pretty dark childhood, Toni Childs, born in Orange, California, faced one of two options: a descent into violence, or a journey of self-discovery. Thankfully, she opted for the latter and an extraordinary talent was born. The voyage saw Childs live in London, for a while writing lyrics for a Nigerian band. Returning to L.A., she fronted Berlin before backing David + David on their 1986 masterpiece, Boomtown. Together with producer David Tickle, she began work on what became her debut,...
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Keep the Faith, Toni Childs
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