Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae

2006-07-11 10:40
Despite a threatening set of early omens, there may still be hope for the newest UK soul talent Corinne Bailey Rae. As Alexis Petredis of the BBC sardonically points out: "...Bailey Rae has won the BBC's "sound of 2006" poll, which has previously predicted vast success for Tali, Gemma Fox, The Dears and Wiley,..." Who, you ask? Exactly.

Such are the accolades and expectations bestowed on this 26 year-old in the UK, that it seems almost inevitable that she'll suffer badly when album number two provokes harsher criticism for not 'living up to potential'. Already being described as a new Billie Holliday is a little much, because while Rae's work is pleasant enough - especially for young lovers and newlyweds - it hardly taxes the listener emotionally.

Interestingly, Rae doesn't flaunt any supposed musical virtuosity either. Unlike, say, Norah, or Alicia, or James, she's neither a jazz, classical or war-embattled piano player... just a singer-songwriter. And probably a better one than any of those other moaners.

Taken at face value, this debut is a more than adequate alternative to the chronically drowsy Norah. Whereas Jones tends to drag her musical heels in doughy haze of whispered little nothings and heavy room-acoustics, Rae takes a more soulful, staged approach.

"Butterfly" might have been recorded by Motown in the late seventies.
It has the feel of a Diana Ross closing, placed as it is here late on the B-Side... except in those days it would be on a scratchy old vinyl album.

"Trouble Sleeping" does far better than Alicia Keys' last big, showy, populist efforts, too, revealing bits of fun and self-deprecation within the quietly charming arrangements: "Don't say I'm falling in love/ There's no way I'm falling / Cause I will never fall and it's never enough/ So nobody say it" she pleads with an aural smile.

And "Breathless" is an outstanding effort, returning to the ensemble band arrangements last heard on... Mariah Carey's MTV unplugged show, of all things. Of course, back then Carey was really still just a singer-songwriter, too. Which is what Ms. Rae should remain if she wants to fulfil the industry-wide predictions of future greatness.

First and foremost, those who own a Norah Jones CD should read no further than this paragraph. Just go out and find this CD. It's right up your alley.

Carol Law 2006/07/19 9:35 PM
Well Done Good easy listening, slight difference to Norah Jones but very, very enjoyable
David miller 2006/07/21 8:17 AM
Corinne Bailey Rae Shes absolurely unique, hauntingly simple and fun . easy listening and great in the car, alone or to share each track grows on you.
Barbara Ungaretti 2006/07/21 8:25 AM
girl put your record on very good, she is young and freash, nice smooth voice, i like her alot
Dina Marais 2006/07/21 9:26 AM
The new Norah She has such a relaxing voice, singing with no effort at all - a pleasure to listen to.
Marlize du Toit 2006/07/21 10:28 AM
Norah Fantastic!!
Garth 2006/07/21 11:20 AM
awesome great with maturity and eleagence
Christine 2006/07/21 3:01 PM
Billie hello
Dee 2006/07/21 7:45 PM
What a GIFTED lady!! Her lyrics are real and sincere, and its not hard for the listner to relate to the themes of her songs. Absolutely heavenly voice: sweet and simple...none of that irritating, superficial bubble-gum pop vocal-gymnastics beyonce stuff. LOVE IT MUCH!!!
Osborne 2006/07/21 9:06 PM
The New Norah What a sweet feeling transparent song. You are a real music talent keep it up my African lady! lol
noit 2006/07/25 4:26 PM
well well sounds alright...
oschille 2006/08/31 5:47 PM
better than norah it's a brilliant album,listen to "don't say i'm falling in love",you'll see what i mean
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