Paloma Faith - 'Stone Cold Sober'
As Ms. Faith is clearly enjoying one of those Jared Leto-style joint careers, split between music and film/stage work, it's tempting to conclude that she's actually been cast by a record label to play a kind of cleaned-up, less troublesome version of...well let's just call her A Well-Known Tattooed Singing Star, shall we? Saves all that undignified finger pointing.
Aside from the fact that 'Stone Cold Sober' is more of a uptempo rockin' raveup than it is an old school soul resurrection (with desperate lyrics, let us not forget), there are a LOT of little clues scattered through this endeavour which suggest Paloma is being sold as a sequel to a very successful franchise.
Not that this is a blot against her talent, I should add. It's just interesting to see THE MARKETING at work...
(Here's the video. A debauched drama student party in a scary gothic theatre...with well-marked fire exits. Fun AND safe!)
Actually, who wants to play a game? See how many of the following things you can find, and mark them off your checklist. If you get them all, Paloma wins some "credibility as an artist", and the marketing team get a bonus, or a lolly. Something nice, anyway.
1: Lady with jazzy voice belting out pop songs.
2: Supremes verses.
4: Lots of parping brass. Production by Son Of Ronson, or Ronsonson...
5: Song about not overdoing things, chemically speaking. Just say no, no, no.
6: Tinkly breakdown, for emoting over.
7: Scruffy hair.
8: Vintage dress. Actually several vintage-style dresses - one amazing one looks like a cross between a suit of armour and an umbrella - and some burlesque underthings, which deviates from the template a little, but then everyone is doing a bit of burlesque these days. I'm surprised the uniforms at McDonalds don't come with their own ostrich feathers, frankly.
I tell you something else, that drummer needs to work out what he's doing in the bridge between the verses and choruses. It makes the song sag like old pants.
All in all, this is more Phantom Menace than Empire Strikes Back, and not just because Jar Jar Binks and A Well-Known Tattooed Singing Star share a certain je ne sais quoi...
PS: Here's Paloma performing magic on this week's Chart Show.
PPS: Who would like to see Paloma do her stuff for Dermot O'Leary's Radio 2 show? ALL of you? Lovely.