Paloma Faith – The Architect (Deluxe) (2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Paloma Faith – The Architect (Deluxe) (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:02:35 minutes | 739 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © RCA Records Label

The fourth full-length release for the British singer-actress features guest appearances from Baby N’Sola, Samuel L. Jackson, Owen Jones, John Legend, Janelle Martin and Naomi Miller.

British vocalist Paloma Faith returns with her ambitious fourth album, 2017’s effusive and sophisticated The Architect. The album follows her platinum-earning 2014 effort A Perfect Contradiction, and once again features a bevy of polished anthems marked by Faith’s soulful voice and penchant for hooky, classic-styled R&B, disco, and pop. Joining the singer and former The Voice UK judge are a handful of big-name studio creators including executive producer Jesse Shatkin, Eg White, Starsmith, Klas Ahlund, and others. Also showcased is vocalist John Legend, who pairs with Faith for the uber-romantic duet “I’ll Be Gentle.” While the inclusion of so many hitmakers could indicate an attempt to smooth out Faith’s distinctive style and unique vocal wallop, that isn’t the case, and the London-born performer remains as distinctive as ever. Shatkin, who previously worked with the similarly arty yet commercial powerhouse Sia, brings a thoughtful sensibility to the proceedings, framing Faith in the just the right amount of orchestration, horns, and driving basslines. Also evidence of Faith’s singular vision here is her collaboration with cult singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt on the arch and moody title track. Not only does it perfectly set the tone for what is to come, but it also works as Faith’s best attempt yet at a ferociously pitched James Bond-style theme song. Similarly successful is the Shatkin and Cass Lowe-penned “Kings and Queens,” which finds Faith balancing her penchant for throaty, dance-club drama with a synthy, Annie Lennox-esque gravitas. Elsewhere, she digs into several catchy, groove-oriented ’70s-style jams on “‘Til I’m Done,” and the EDM-inflected “My Body.”

While the album is by no means overtly political, there is a sense that Faith (who was pregnant with her first child while recording The Architect) was deeply moved by the state of the world and how events like political uprisings and military oppression affect individuals. Featured are several spoken word tracks beginning with the motivational opener by actor Samuel L. Jackson, and including writer Owen Jones’ mid-album speech, “The Politics of Hope,” in which he discusses how to effect positive societal change in the face of monolithic fear mongering. Thankfully, none of these moments slow the album’s flow and only work to underpin Faith’s overall message of overcoming adversity. It’s a theme she returns to throughout The Architect, touching upon more intimate notions of catharsis like encouraging people to express difficult emotions, as on the ’70s-style soul number “Cry Baby,” and more broadly universal symbols such as that of the “wounded warrior” on the dramatic Sia Furler/Samuel Dixon-co-write “Warrior.” The message is that while we are responsible for much of the turmoil in our own lives, we also have the capacity to change both ourselves and society for the better. With The Architect, Faith has constructed an album of empowered, mainstream pop that retains all of the complexity, artfulness, and raw emotion of her previous work. As she sings on “‘Til I’m Done,” “Solid gold survivor, that’s my attitude.”

01. Evolution 01:04
02. The Architect 03:25
03. Guilty 04:19
04. Crybaby 03:53
05. I’ll Be Gentle (feat. John Legend) 04:15
06. Politics of Hope 00:54
07. Kings and Queens 03:51
08. Surrender 03:33
09. Warrior 03:44
10. ‘Til I’m Done 03:44
11. Lost and Lonely 03:41
12. Still Around 03:47
13. Pawns 00:51
14. WW3 03:10
15. Love Me As I Am 04:31
16. Power to the Peaceful 03:18
17. Tonight’s Not The Only Night 03:47
18. My Body 03:48
19. Price of Fame 03:00



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