Picking Up the Pieces (Paloma Faith song)

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"Picking Up the Pieces"
Paloma Faith PUP.jpeg
Single by Paloma Faith
from the album Fall to Grace
Released18 May 2012 (2012-05-18)
FormatDigital download
Length4:04 (album version)[1]
3:34 (radio edit)[2]
LabelRCA Records
Producer(s)Nellee Hooper
Paloma Faith singles chronology
"Smoke & Mirrors"
"Picking Up the Pieces"
"30 Minute Love Affair"
Music video
"Picking Up the Pieces" on YouTube

"Picking Up the Pieces" is a song by English recording artist Paloma Faith from her second studio album Fall to Grace. Produced by Nellee Hooper and written by Faith, Wayne Hector and Tim Powell, it was released as the album's first single on 18 May 2012. Faith revealed "Picking Up the Pieces" was inspired by the issues and insecurity of dating someone who is recovering from a previous relationship. The artwork for the single was revealed on 5 April 2012.

"Picking Up the Pieces" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 7, making it Faith's first Top 10 single and her highest charting single in the UK until "Only Love Can Hurt Like This" (2014) peaked at number 6. Critical reception of the song has been positive. The song's accompanying music video was directed by Emil Nava and it was released on 12 April 2012. The video features Faith portraying a woman who is in "a tempestuous relationship" with her boyfriend. As the video progresses it shows Faith's relationship with her boyfriend crumbling and she becomes wax-like and melts.

Background and artwork[edit]

In March 2010, Faith revealed that she was working on a second album.[3] During an interview with a Popjustice reporter, she explained the album would contain more "agony and suffering."[4] Faith enlisted record producer Nellee Hooper to work with her on the project.[5] Hooper told a writer for NME that he had not really heard of Faith as he was living in Los Angeles when her first album was released. He said Sony and RCA Records contacted him and suggested he meet Faith.[5] Faith wrote and recorded Fall To Grace in London.[5][6] On 29 February 2012, it was announced "Picking Up the Pieces" would serve as the first single from the album.[7] Faith described the song as being about "...the issues of being in a relationship with someone who is still recovering from a previous relationship with another person. It is a song about self-doubt and insecurity."[6] She added that she was excited to introduce her new sound to the world.[6] Co-written by Faith, Wayne Hector and Tim Powell, "Picking Up the Pieces" was released in the UK by RCA Records on 20 May 2012.[7][8][9] The cover art for the single was released exclusively on the Digital Spy website on 5 April. The cover shows Faith dressed in a couture, full-length Dolce & Gabbana dress, wrapped up in a faux fur stole by seamstress Wendy Benstead.[10][11] The image is completely un-retouched.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

"Picking Up the Pieces" has received generally positive reviews from critics. Colin Gentry of 4Music said "Picking Up the Pieces" is "a classy, pacey song of trying to compete with a lover's ex-girlfriend. It's hard to imagine anyone putting our Paloma in the shade, and her pained vocals certainly belt out loud enough for everyone to hear her angst."[12] Digital Spy's Robert Copsey and Lewis Corner thought the single was "an anthemic trailer of sweeping strings and relentless drums", which felt "as intimate" as Faith's previous work.[13] In his official review, Corner gave "Picking Up the Pieces" five stars and stated Faith "may not think she's able to obtain the prime ideal of perfection, but 'Picking Up The Pieces' skirts dangerously close - and for that alone, it's more than worthy of some global recognition."[14] Tim Ingham of Music Week branded the track a "thumping thick-skinned anthem".[9] While BBC News entertainment reporter Mark Savage called it "a strident, string-laden 'mega-ballad'".[15]

So So Gay's Leo Kristoffersson said the song's lyrics "are delivered with Faith's characteristically affirmative vocals".[16] He added "The smoky, jazz-tinged vocal style we have become accustomed to are slightly sharper on the track, which reflects the angst that inspired the track perfectly. We predict big things for this track."[16] During his review of the album, BBC Music's Nick Levine wrote "Lead single 'Picking Up the Pieces' is epic, like stallions galloping across the silver screen".[17] David of We Love Pop magazines gave the single a mixed review. He said "Picking Up the Pieces" was "predictable but strong".[18] He added "We enjoy pop stars that are both a little bit bonkers and are in charge of their own careers; Paloma is both but this song doesn't fully showcase the brilliant pop star she could be."[18]

Chart performance[edit]

On the Irish Singles Chart, "Picking Up the Pieces" debuted at number 82 for the week ending 24 May 2012.[19] It rose two places the following week, before reaching number 77.[19][20] The single then hit a peak of 13 for the week ending 22 June 2012.[21] "Picking Up the Pieces" debuted at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending 2 June 2012, selling 32,607 copies.[22][23] This made "Picking Up the Pieces" Faith's first Top 10 single.[23] The following week, the single fell five places.[24] For its third week in the chart, "Picking Up the Pieces" remained inside the top twenty at number nineteen.[25] It later rose to number fourteen and then number ten during its fifth week on the chart.[26][27] "Picking Up the Pieces" entered the Scottish Singles Chart at number 3.[28]

Music video[edit]

Faith revealed the video for "Picking Up the Pieces" was partly inspired by David Lynch and his television drama Twin Peaks

The accompanying music video, directed by Emil Nava, was released on 12 April 2012.[29][30] Faith portrays a woman who is stuck in "a tempestuous relationship with a possessive boyfriend."[31] Her love interest is portrayed by Faith's real life friend, James.[32] The couple go to a country hotel where they are surrounded by wealthy guests, who appear to be enjoying themselves.[33] As the video progresses it shows Faith's relationship with her boyfriend crumbling.[33] Of the concept, Faith commented:

"The idea is that we've just broken up and we're both very upset. He's sort of besotted by this other version of me who represents perfection. He's in love with perfection, but the perfection doesn't actually exist - it's like the perfection that I've imagined in my own paranoid, self-loathing way."[32]

Faith then becomes wax-like and she begins to melt, which Lewis Corner of Digital Spy described as resembling "the emotional crumbling she has suffered through domestic abuse."[29] Faith told Corner's colleague Robert Copsey that the scene in which she melts shows that her character is not real and that what she was imagining does not even exist.[32] She added "We have this kiss at the end that signifies that we just had a blip. I think that happens a lot in relationships."[32] While the story plays out, Faith is seen singing in the grounds of the hotel.[32] The singer revealed that the setting for the video was inspired by Twin Peaks, 2046, The Shining and David Lynch.[32]

Louisa Walker of 4Music said the video shows off Faith's "love of 20th century-inspired style".[33] She added "Paloma has said that 'The new album has taken on a very cinematic mood,' and this is evident in this story-led video for the lead single."[33] A Popjustice writer called the video "great" and quipped "It makes the song seem about 150% better than it actually is. Maybe it just makes you realise how good the song actually is."[34] They added that the video has some nice clothes featured in it.[34] The video for "Picking Up the Pieces" was nominated for 4Music's Best Video Of 2012 and Best Pop Video at the UK Music Video Awards.[35][36]

Live performances[edit]

On 19 May 2012, Faith performed "Picking Up the Pieces" live on T4.[37] She also performed the track during the fourth results show of The Voice UK.[38] On 30 May 2012, Faith talked about and performed "Picking Up the Pieces" live on This Morning.[39] "Picking Up the Pieces" was performed by Faith on The Graham Norton Show on 15 June.[40] Faith included "Picking Up the Pieces" in her set for her live performances at Somerset House on 17 and 18 July.[41]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[2]
  1. "Picking Up the Pieces" (Radio edit) – 3:34
  1. "Picking Up the Pieces" (Radio edit) – 3:34
  2. "Picking Up the Pieces" (Acoustic version) – 3:45
  3. "Picking Up the Pieces" (RackNRuin Remix) – 4:11
  4. "Picking Up the Pieces" (Moto Blanco Club Mix) – 8:20

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Fall to Grace album liner notes.[43]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format
France[53] 18 May 2012
  • Digital download
  • Digital EP
United Kingdom[7] 20 May 2012
United States[55] 14 August 2012 Digital download

Cover versions[edit]

In 2013, The Voice UK contestant Mike Ward performed the song during the competition. A studio version of his performance was released and peaked at number 72 in the UK Singles Chart.[56]

Chart (2013) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[56] 72


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  2. ^ a b "Picking Up The Pieces (Radio Edit)". Amazon.co.uk. Amazon.com, Inc. 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  3. ^ Nissim, Mayer (8 March 2010). "Interview - Paloma Faith". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  4. ^ "It's a Paloma phoner..." Popjustice. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Paloma Faith to release second album 'Fall To Grace' in May". NME. IPC Media. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Akin, Aylin (29 February 2012). "Paloma Faith Announces New Album 'Fall To Grace'". Entertainmentwise. Giant Digital. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Copsey, Robert (29 February 2012). "Paloma Faith announces "cinematic" new album 'Fall To Grace'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Paloma Faith - 'Picking Up the Pieces'". Tim Powell Songs. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b Ingham, Tim (29 March 2012). "Paloma Faith: 'I'm not sheepish about standing up for what I want'". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b Copsey, Robert (5 April 2012). "Exclusive: Paloma Faith unveils new single 'Picking Up The Pieces' artwork". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  11. ^ "Video Fashion Credits: Paloma Faith "Picking Up The Pieces"". Music Fashionland. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  12. ^ Gentry, Colin (30 March 2012). "Singer is back for a cinematic sophomore". 4Music. Box Television. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  13. ^ Copsey, Robert; Corner, Lewis (26 March 2012). "Playlist: 10 tracks you need to hear". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  14. ^ Corner, Lewis (19 May 2012). "Paloma Faith: 'Picking Up The Pieces' - Single review". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  15. ^ Savage, Mark (17 April 2012). "Paloma Faith: 'I didn't like my first album'". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  16. ^ a b Kristoffersson, Leo (29 March 2012). "Album preview: Paloma Faith- Fall to Grace". So So Gay. So So Gay Ltd. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
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  18. ^ a b "Which singles are you buying this week?". We Love Pop. EgmontUK. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Top 100 Singles - Week ending 24th May 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. May 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Top 100 Singles - Week ending 14th June 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. June 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  21. ^ Corner, Lewis (22 June 2012). "Flo Rida knocks Cheryl Cole off Irish singles number one". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  22. ^ Eames, Tom (27 May 2012). "fun. hold off The Wanted to score first UK No.1 single". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
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  25. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100 - 16th June 2012". UK Singles Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  26. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100 - 23rd June 2012". UK Singles Chart. Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  27. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100 - 30 June 2012". UK Singles Chart. Official UK Charts Company. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  28. ^ "Scottish Singles Top 40 - 2nd June 2012". Scottish Singles and Albums Charts. Official Charts Company. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  29. ^ a b Corner, Lewis (12 April 2012). "Paloma Faith debuts 'Picking Up The Pieces' new music video - watch". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  30. ^ "Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces (Video)". Bestinnewmusic.com. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  31. ^ Frith, Holly (12 April 2012). "Watch: Paloma Faith Debuts 'Picking Up The Pieces' Video". Entertainmentwise. Giant Digital. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  32. ^ a b c d e f Copsey, Robert (8 May 2012). "Exclusive: Paloma Faith in Picking Up the Pieces behind-the-scenes video - watch". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  33. ^ a b c d Walker, Louisa (12 April 2012). "News: Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces". 4Music. Box Television. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  34. ^ a b "Video: Paloma Faith – Picking Up The Pieces". Popjustice. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  35. ^ "Show: 4Music Video Honours 2012 Best Video Of 2012". 4Music. Box Television. October 2012. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  36. ^ "Music genre categories". UK Music Video Awards. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  37. ^ "Schedule - Sat 19 May". T4. Channel 4. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  38. ^ Darvill, Josh (15 May 2012). "The Voice UK: Paloma Faith to perform on this week's results show". TellyMix. Glam Media, Inc. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  39. ^ "Paloma Faith". This Morning. itv.com. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  40. ^ "Episode 10". The Graham Norton Show. BBC. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  41. ^ Copsey, Robert (19 July 2012). "Paloma Faith live at Somerset House: Review". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  42. ^ "Picking Up The Pieces". Amazon.co.uk. Amazon.com, Inc. 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  43. ^ Fall to Grace (Compact Disc liner notes). Paloma Faith. RCA Records. 2012. p. 9. 88691955512.CS1 maint: others (link)
  44. ^ "Chart Track: Week 25, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  45. ^ "Charts.nz – Paloma Faith – Picking Up the Pieces". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  46. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  47. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  48. ^ "Official Audio Streaming Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  49. ^ "Paloma Faith Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  50. ^ "Paloma Faith Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  51. ^ "Top 100 singles of 2012". BBC Radio 1. BBC. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  52. ^ "British single certifications – Paloma Faith – Picking Up the Pieced". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 October 2014. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Picking Up the Pieced in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  53. ^ "Picking Up the Pieces - EP". iTunes Store (in French). Apple Inc. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  54. ^ "Paloma Faith is back! Her brand new single "picking up the pieces" is released on 18th May". Sony Music Ireland. Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  55. ^ "Picking Up the Pieces - Single". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  56. ^ a b "Mike Ward". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 June 2013.

External links[edit]