“Know you can change things – yes you. What are you waiting for? Do not be fearful of evolution, the time is now!” exclaims Samuel L Jackson in the opening track of Paloma Faith’s fourth album, ‘The Architect’.
Jackson’s monologue is a powerful beginning for the singer’s new album as she sets a political tone. It is then immediately followed by the track ‘The Architect’ that delivers the retro soul-pop we all know and love from Faith.
In the track, she describes herself as ‘the architect’, which harks back to Samuel L Jackson’s introductive monologue. He says ‘you can change things’ and Paloma is ultimately saying that she has the power to design her life, and we have the power to shape society.
Although this links to the socio-political aspect of the album, it can also be interpreted as a song about relationships “I gave you my everything, but it was never enough for you / And just like young lovers do, we made mistakes we can’t undo.” Nevertheless, it is a beautiful song.
Guilty, a track released as a single, carries on the political commentary. Faith explained on Instagram: “It is inspired by the aftermath of the Brexit vote. I was imagining what it must feel like to have voted for that and then feeling like you made a mistake…”
It reminds me of an Amy Winehouse track with its melancholic and soulful vibe. However, this song isn’t so obviously about politics, however, she explains that the song could have many meanings for everyone.
There is an interlude, another track with spoken word, by political commentator, Owen Jones, who argues for a “different sort of society, not a society run in the interests of a tiny elite, but a society run in the interests of the majority.”
It is interesting to witness a pop singer tackle socio-political issues in her music, especially considering that her biggest hits are all songs about love.
In saying that, aside from the two spoken-word interludes, the music could be interpreted as love songs. Especially for the listeners who are not consciously waiting for some political commentary.
It may not convey her political messages or beliefs, but it does deliver some retro, jazzy-pop tracks such as ‘Crybaby’ and ‘Surrender’. The track ‘Warrior’ was written by Sia is hauntingly beautiful and gives us the soulful and ballad-like voice of Paloma Faith. You cannot fault her vocals or the vibe she brings to her music.
Overall, it is a strong album worth a listen. Faith has a powerful voice and soul that you can’t help but love.