The Architect

The Architect

by Paloma Faith

CD

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Overview

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."

Product Details

Release Date: 11/24/2017
Label: Imports
UPC: 0889854799229
catalogNumber: 5479922
Rank: 44096

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paloma Faith   Primary Artist,Glockenspiel,Vocals,Background Vocals
Nicholas Dodd   Conductor,Performing Ensemble
David Arnold   Performing Ensemble
John Barclay   Trumpet
Sam Dixon   Bass
Richard Edwards   Bass Trombone
Andy Findon   Alto,Flute
Roger Garland   Violin
Skaila Kanga   Harp
Gary Kettel   Timpani
Sonia Slany   Violin
Tom Barnes   Drums
Mary Scully   Double Bass
Joey Waronker   Drums
Peter Lale   Viola
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Bruce White   Viola
Karl Willetts   Choir, Chorus
Paul Clarvis   Percussion
Richard Watkins   French Horn
Everton Nelson   Violin
Rachel Bolt   Viola
Deborah Widdup   Violin
Warren Zielinski   Violin
David Pyatt   French Horn
Ian Burdge   Cello
Andy Wood   Bass Trombone
Nick Barr   Viola
Nichol Thompson   French Horn
Klas Åhlund   Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals
Wayne Hector   Background Vocals
Samuel Dixon   Synthesizer,Piano,Mellotron
Eg White   Guitar,Glockenspiel
Ed Harcourt   Bass,Piano,Electric Guitar
Helen Hathorn   Violin
Chris Worsey   Cello
Magnus Johnston   Violin
Arnthor Birgisson   Background Vocals
Dhani Harrison   Choir, Chorus
Eos Counsell   Violin
Natalia Bonner   Violin
Gillon Cameron   Violin
Owen Slade   Cimbasso
Richard Pryce   Double Bass
David Moyer   Alto,Flute,Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Tenor (Vocal)
John Legend   Vocals
Aaron Redfield   Drums
Corinne Bailey Rae   French Horn
Emma Owens   Viola
Jesse Shatkin   Synthesizer,Piano,Bells
Erick Serna   Bass,Guitar
Rachel Robson   Viola
Jon Green   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Strings,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Brass
Rosie Danvers   Cello
Jonny Harris   Bass,Piano,Strings,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Brass
Emre Ramazanoglu   Percussion
Sarah Sexton   Violin
Tom Pigott-Smith   Violin
Jonathan Williams   Cello
Vicky Matthews   Cello
Michael Thompson   French Horn
Eleanor Mathieson   Violin
Alison Dods   Violin
Tommy Danvers   Keyboards
Jane Oliver   Cello
Ben Kohn   Synthesizer
Tommy King   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Performing Ensemble,Hammond B3
Danny T. Levin   Trombone,Trumpet,Euphonium,French Horn,Baritone,Trombonium
Sally Jackson   Violin
John Bradbury   Violin
Cass Lowe   Vocals
Stephanie Benedetti   Violin
Gabe Noel   Bass
Jasper Leak   Bass
Michel Zitron   Background Vocals
Starsmith   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Bongos,Drums,Tambourine,Mellotron,fender rhodes
Baby N'sola   Background Vocals
Peter Kelleher   Keyboards
Tom Meadows   Drums
Anna Croad   Violin
Kotono Sato   Violin
Sam Lewis   Guitar
Becky Jones   Viola
Ellie Stamford   Violin
Corinne Bailey   French Horn
Roberto Angrisani   Choir, Chorus
Naomi Miller   Vocals,Background Vocals
John Newman   Background Vocals
Peter Lee Johnson   Strings
Adele Pentland   Choir, Chorus
Sam Klempner   Guitar
Janelle Martin   Background Vocals
Steve Morris   Violin
Vern Asbury   Guitar
Andy Crowley   Trumpet
Dylan   Guitar
Oli Langford   Violin
Dave Stewart   Bass Trombone
Dave Daniels   Cello
Kathy Gowers   Violin
Joel Fender   Choir, Chorus
Jnay Adeleye   Background Vocals
Stephanie Notice   Choir, Chorus
Nicole Di Gioacchino   Choir, Chorus
Liz Mason   Choir, Chorus
Jocee Gunnell   Choir, Chorus
Aisha Sheeran   Background Vocals
Aisha Shereena Stuart   Choir, Chorus
Zara Beyounces   Violin
Todd Wisenbaker   Guitar

Technical Credits

Chris Bishop   Programming,Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Simon Smith   Composer
Tom Barnes   Composer
Lindy Robbins   Composer
Klas Åhlund   Composer,Programming,Producer,Vocal Engineer
Wayne Hector   Composer
Samuel Dixon   Composer,Programming,Producer
Eg White   Producer
Ed Harcourt   Composer
John Hanes   Engineer
Nick Taylor   Engineer
Arnthor Birgisson   Composer
Sia Furler   Composer
Dan Parry   Arranger,Programming,Mixing Programmer
Jesse Shatkin   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Vocal Producer,Additional Production
Jon Green   Composer,Producer,drum programming
Rosie Danvers   String Arrangements
Jonny Harris   Composer,Engineer,drum programming
Emre Ramazanoglu   Programming,Producer
Carla Marie Williams   Composer
Paloma Faith   Composer,Producer
Francis White   Composer
Ilsey Juber   Composer
Sam Dent   Engineer
Ben Kohn   Composer
Cass Lowe   Composer
Starsmith   Programming,Producer,drum programming
Fin Dow-Smith   Composer
Rory Graham   Composer
Peter Kelleher   Composer
Keith Munson   Engineer
John Newman   Composer
TMS   Programming,Producer,Vocal Producer
Michael Harris   Engineer
Sam Klempner   Engineer,Additional Production
Christopher Stracey   Composer
Ella Henderson   Composer
Knox Brown   Programming,Producer
Zak Abel   Composer
Cleo Tighe   Composer
Tobias Jesso   Composer
Chaz Sexton   Engineer
Clem Cherry   Engineer

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