Paloma Faith – one of only two British female artists this decade to have their last three albums go double-platinum in the UK – looks to add to the feat with her long-awaited fourth album, The Architect. Her first album in more than three years features an array of acclaimed co-writers, producers and collaborators including: Sia, John Legend, Jesse Shatkin, TMS, Starsmith, Tobias Jesso Jr., Eg White, Rag'n'Bone Man, actor Samuel L. Jackson and journalist and activist Owen Jones.
Whilst the music is classic Paloma – with sweeping orchestral tracks, smooth soul, sleek disco grooves and stomping electro pop all featured throughout – the lyrics raise social and political questions, and cover powerful and topical themes, such as motherhood, social anxiety, wealth inequality, technology's impact on feelings of alienation and the future of the Western World – all within the confines of classic pop. The title track prejects Paloma as Mother Nature, singing to humanity, while ‘Guilty' reflects on the Brexit vote from the perspective of a Leave voter who regrets their choice. Lead single "Crybaby" ponders whether war would cease to exist if men successfully dealt with their emotions, and "Lost and Lonely" is sung from the viewpoint of a skeleton.
The album also includes the track "Warrior" written by Sia, which Paloma interprets to be about the refugee crisis, a duet with John Legend, "I'll Be Gentle," and two spoken word interludes – album opener "Evolution" which is performed by acclaimed actor Samuel L. Jackson and "Politics of Hope" which is a political commentary by Owen Jones. String arrangements on "The Architect," "Warrior" and "I'll Be Gentle" were written by David Arnold, the celebrated film and TV composer best known for his work on James Bond and Sherlock.