I didn't like the brand of quirky pop that Paloma Faith was peddling with first album. It felt contrived and forced, as did the kooky personality she brought with it. Surprisingly, according to an interview with BBC Paloma wasn't a fan either [source], claiming it was more the record company than her who was pushing the sound;
At the Brits you said you had mixed feelings about your debut album. What did you mean?
The first time round, I knew what I wanted but I didn't necessarily have the confidence to stick to my guns. There was a certain degree of manipulation because I felt indebted, somehow, to the record label for signing me.
I'm not entirely convinced this is true, instead I think she's seen the success that other female singers have had with their "maturer" sound, and has decided she wants a piece of that golden pie.
Whatever the case, the new single Picking Up The Pieces definitely sounds more grown up. Vocally, the "jazzy" inflection she was so fond of on her last album- see New York Upside Down- has been eliminated, "Praise Jebus", and instead we are left with a direct, honest, pop delivery. It works well here, holding its own, and standing apart, from the rich production, and ultimately allowing for the lovelorn lyrics to be understood and appreciated without the distraction, and annoyance, of the contrived vocal persona of her previous songs.
This is a fresh start for Paloma Faith, and I think I might actually like her second time round.
Picking Up The Pieces is released on 20 May, and second album, Fall To Grace, is out the following week .