Paloma Faith – Upside Down

Release Date 15/03/2010 (Sony Music)

By Jonathan McCabe

Paloma Faith has just released her forth single, entitled ‘Upside Down’ – and I like it! It’s jolly; it’s clever; it’s quirky – a lot like Ms Faith, one suspects. It’s also very catchy, but, then again, so too is syphilis. When it comes to Paloma Faith, the problem isn’t with her music – it’s with the musician herself.

When Gandhi famously quipped that ‘imitation is the sincerest flattery’ he wasn’t thinking about music. What’s really upside down about ‘Upside Down’ is the fact that Paloma Faith has carved out a peculiar musical niche for herself – by not being herself. Paloma Faith is like a Russian matryoshka doll – take her apart and you find a little Amy Winehouse trying to escape. Take Amy Whitehouse apart and you find Etta James trying to escape. Et cetera. Et cetera.

Paloma Faith has appeared on ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’, ‘Later With Jules Holland’ and ‘Friday Night With Jonathan Ross’ – she has even appeared on ‘This Week’. This, one fears, has more to do with the BBC’s fear that Amy Winehouse wouldn’t turn up (or what state she would be in if she did turn up!) than it has to do with any intrinsic talent Paloma Faith may have. If Amy Winehouse ever cleans up her act (both on and off-stage) Paloma Faith will find herself at the Job Centre.

‘Upside Down’ is a good tune. It would have been a great single for Amy Winehouse – had Paloma Faith not saved her the trouble.

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