After leaving us 'Stone Cold Sober' and 'Upside Down' on 'Do You Want The Truth...', Paloma delivered yet more delights on her second album, 'Fall To Grace'.
Like the most irresistible and lavish period drama, Fall To Grace has it all; intrigue, suspense, melodrama, theatrics and plenty of broken hearts. Paloma Faith's second album, released on May 28th 2012, is a stunning follow up to her quite spectacular debut album, Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? In the years between Paloma's first two full length albums Faith drew on a rich seam of inspiration to bring about characterful story telling that would develop into the final 13 songs on the album.
Whilst Fall To Grace may not be Pride And Prejudice or Jane Eyre it does have as many interwoven topics and themes running through it. Love, loss, heartbreak, betrayal and anguish are all played out through the entire album. This may be Darcy in Diesel rather than jodhpurs, and the music maybe more basement bedsit blues than below stairs Baroque in Belgravia, but Fall To Grace is nevertheless a great piece of work.
Paloma gives an impassioned and inspired performance from start to finish. Each song captures Faith's emotive and expressive vocals acutely. Each note is as heartfelt as the next and every expression believable. Paloma pulls out all the stops on her second album, cementing the reputation she developed as a formidable soulful singer on her debut record.
Paloma's songs may be more kitchen sink drama than that of the landed gentry and titled aristocracy but the album is still an opulent and illuminating soundtrack that perfectly showcases the maturing talents of the then 30 year old singer-songwriter. Just as Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters knew a thing or two about the complexities of love and all it's manifestations, so too does Paloma Faith. The setting of the storyline may have shifted from rural England to a contemporary urban backdrop but the recurrent themes remain the same.
Faith explores "the mystery and the magic", "the torture, the pain, the agony" and at times resigns her self to the inevitable as she sings, "Everyone I've ever loved has left me lonely, Every time I let it go I'm high and dry, Every time I think I'm one and only, I find myself alone not knowing why." Paloma so expertly captures the torment that anyone who's ever loved someone that will ultimately let them down has no doubt felt when she sings, "Everyone says your bad for my head, But I'm in denial, One look at your face, I'm back in that place."
The song-writing on Fall To Grace, coupled with the theatrical and flamboyant arrangements, and above all Paloma's superb vocals, make this album so compelling. From the opening, almost regal majesty of Paloma's first UK top-ten single, Picking Up The Pieces, to the final plot twist at the very end with her sublime cover of the classic INXS song, Never Tear Us Apart, Fall To Grace is a page turner of an album that is still undeniably good.