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I expected ‘Infinite Things’ from the new Paloma Faith installment. Her fifth studio album is an intended youthful sound with relatable, grown-up sentiments to elevate it after her social, dystopian album, The Architect which featured hits like Crybaby and Guilty.
Whilst the album has a promising start, opening with Supernatural which channels idyllic, indie-disco vibes, there was nothing on the album that really grabbed me. Where the album cover screams film-noir tones and pitches Paloma Faith as a woman in control of her own sound, I can honestly say she’s done better and this control is perhaps slightly misplaced. The result is a lacklustre and frankly boring album – not what I expected from Paloma Faith at all.
Some time around the halfway mark with the title song of the album, the tempo of the album slows with this romantic power ballad. The rest of the songs follow the same cardboard-cut-out sound and pattern and were non-discernible from one another with high pitch notes and sombre tones. Usually, with any album I listen to, I find one or two songs that I love so much that I play on repeat, but unfortunately this was not the case with Infinite Things. Any good song possibilities were lost in a sea of semi-adequate arrangements and squeaky sounds. The finale song, Last Night on Earth, was grating to listen to and offered a disappointing end to a disappointing album.
Paloma Faith’s previous works, particularly The Architect and A Perfect Contradiction, were much more enjoyable to listen to and had much more dimension and range in terms of vocals and sound. The previous albums were only enriched by Faith’s powerful vocals and collaborations with artists like John Legend on my favourite song, I’ll Be Gentle, and I found myself racing to listen to Faith’s previous work to remind myself of her usual musical brilliance. Where The Architect was colourful and dynamic, Infinite Things fell short of such impact
The entire collection is overstated, whether it’s emotional exhaustion at the difficulty of being in a relationship, as seen in the twisty-pop quicksmart lyrics and dancefloor beat of “Monster”, or the lyrical sentiment of “If This is Goodbye” and “If Loving You Was Easy”. “Infinite Things” is a wry take at being slightly disappointed at the world you’re bringing up a child in, infused with hope at the image of God you can see in a babies’ eyes with stripped back vocals and a sweet if slightly melancholy melody.
But this is a dampened down version of the usually loud and colourful, unique firecracker of an artist. Either taking control of creative and production has resulted in a more serious, sombre sound, or she should have trusted her production team a little more.