British siren Paloma Faith returns with “The Architect”, her fourth album, and one she describes as a “social observation” record. Setting the tone with a rousing introduction from the legendary Samuel L. Jackson, the album kicks off with the equally thunderous title track and things look good for the singer songwriter.
“Guilty” sees Faith deliver a slice of sassy pop complete with her trademark Amy Winehouse tinged vocals while opening single “Crybaby” sees the singer shift into a gentler, poppier direction. Now, at this point, we’re only three tracks into the album and, other than Samuel L. Jackson’s opening exclamation, already we’re struggling to find anything on “The Architect” which screams “social observation”.
What “The Architect” has delivered in spades by this point, is modern pop laced with Faith’s big, attention-grabbing vocals. She teams up with John Legend for the soaring “I’ll Be Gentle” before punching the button marked “massive sounding ballad” for the track “Warrior”. It all makes for great pop music but it’s hardly the kind of material that is going to be playing as we try to overthrow the Government.
While Paloma may have had some grand ideas for “The Architect”, it’s hard to see quite exactly how the end result has panned out compared her intentions. Yes, there are some big sounding moments on this album but, four albums in, we know she can do that. Songs like “Surrender” or the pumping pop of “’Til I’m Done” are enormous there is no denying that but they’re not what you’d call revolutionary. All in all, if you’re looking for an album that screams “I want change”, look elsewhere however, if you’re looking for an album full of classy, polished modern pop, Paloma Faith and “The Architect” will not disappoint you on that score.