Faith’s second No.1 is a confident redux of his first. Style wins out entirely over content – “Poor Me” poses as a jilted man’s lament but is scored as a modernist celebration, all pops and jabs and rushes and sharp corners. John Barry’s artistry as an arranger has taken a jump since Faith’s previous hit – “Poor Me” spends its 1 minute 44 seconds pushing and niggling at the established edges of pop. A breakout into abstraction is prevented by Barry’s sense of dynamics – the way his dozen ideas dance to the front of the mix and back again makes the record a nervy tour de force of string-driven pop. As for Faith, he takes the opportunity to polish up his range of music-hall shudders – the fun he has with just the two title words is delightful. Despite its brevity, “Poor Me” is a slightly exhausting listen, a curio that’s easier to admire than connect with or love.

Score: 6

[Logged in users can award their own score]