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‘The Architect’ review: Paloma Faith’s powerful, distinctive voice

Paloma Faith's

Paloma Faith's "The Architect" is her fourth studio album. Credit: Columbia

PALOMA FAITH

“The Architect”

BOTTOM LINE The British star sets her sights on the world around her.

Paloma Faith rose to prominence in the United Kingdom in the mad rush to find the next Amy Winehouse, but somehow the quirky Faith didn’t translate as well in America as Adele and Emeli Sandé.

Her new album, “The Architect” (Columbia), should fix that. The charming first single, “Crybaby,” is a breezy bit of Brit-soul that channels Estelle’s “American Boy” while advocating emotional release. Her collaboration with John Legend “I’ll Be Gentle” harks back to classic soul duets from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, as a gospel choir amplifies her message of offering kindness in the face of cruelty.

Throughout “The Architect,” Faith uses catchy melodies and her powerful, distinctive voice to push forward an infectious sense of positivity, whether it’s the disco throwback “Til I’m Done” or the Sia-written anthem “Warrior.” She also drops in bits of dialogue, from Samuel L. Jackson and author Owen Jones, to explain some of her ideas.

“I’ve done my reconciling,” she declares in the soaring ballad “Love Me As I Am.” “I’m over compromising. I need you to see this my way.” With “The Architect,” Faith will also no longer be overlooked in America.

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