Paloma Faith ‘The Perfect Contradiction’ Review | The Student Pocket Guide
by Holeigh Melton

Is the new Paloma Faith album all it’s cracked up to be? Has a pairing with Pharrell put her out of touch with her original style, or has she always been a commerical artist making a b-line for the charts? We question Paloma’s “original” style and the credibility of sneaky sample thief Pharrell…

Everyone knows that Paloma Faith is an unusual kind of artist, this is not necessarily a bad thing, it makes her memorable; this is part of the reason she has accumulated her rise to fame within the music industry. However, for her newest album ‘The Perfect Contradiction’ she seems to be “contradicting” her distinguished persona by following recent trends. For instance, “man of the moment” producer Pharrell Williams features on the single ‘Can’t Rely on You’ – released February 23rd. Should Paloma have relied on Pharrell’s help to produce this album, let him poach someone else’s hard work and label it his own? It’s already common knowledge there’s a riff that features on ‘Can’t Rely on You’ which is very similar to Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’…

There is no denying Paloma has a recognisable but distinctive sound, however I feel she’s bit of a “one trick pony”. The only way I can sum up her new album is “a trip to the carnival”. We see the parade where we catch a glimpse of many different performances – with each song feeling like a new show.  Paloma has a very theatrical background, burlesque dancing included, and this is evidently present in her music. However, I think she should have cemented herself in a career within theatre. Even the artwork for the album is reminiscent of a “Shakespearean” story. Although I appreciate different art forms can work in harmony, I just don’t think Paloma has got it right here.

I have given ‘The Perfect Contradiction’ the benefit of the doubt, but I just can’t get my head around it. Anyone familiar with Paloma’s music will devour this album in one listening. There’s no begrudging the fact it is full of catchy songs with very “poppy” hooks, overall it’s a very upbeat fun album, but for me it’s still very much a drama production. There is one stand out song, ‘Take Me’. But, I can’t even listen to this without seeing a young Michael Jackson singing ‘ABC’; I can even hear MJ’s ‘woo’ in the distance – almost the same as in Blurred Lines – NICE ONE Pharrell!