Corinne Bailey Rae
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Corinne Bailey Rae
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It becomes self-evident the moment you hear her sing the very first note on the first track 'Like A Star', that it showcases a slice of sublime Billie Holiday blues delivered with a voice that pins you, in the softest but most persuasive of ways, to the wall; a voice that floats up effortlessly, full of caress, subtlety and the very purest quality. It is wonderful, this voice, and surely a discovery to treasure, but it belongs to a young woman not from somewhere musically exotic, say Mississippi or even Manhattan, but just East of the M1: Leeds. Her name is Corinne Bailey Rae, and she was born to do this. 11 tracks. EMI. 2006.
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Selections: "Like a Star"-smooth sound, a good opener
"Enchantment"- good, but a bit too mellow
"Put Your Records"- as catchy a tune as there is; a true hit. I want to listen to it over and over
"Trouble Sleeping"- a wonderful, expressive love song
"Breathless"- this song leaves me breathless
"Butterfly"-more beauty from Corrine
Ms. Bailey seems to have been influenced by Billie Holliday, Sade, and there even seems to a bit of Rickie Lee Jones in her voice. The only reason I didn't rate this 5 stars is due to slight drop-off in the quality of a few of the songs. Ms. Bailey appears to a refreshing example of the new genre of British female singer/songwriters like Lily Allen. I look forward to her next recording.
Unlike CD's you have to put in the car and spend a month with
to let the tracks grow on you, this CD hooked me in total.
She's not new, but it took me awhile getting around to buying a CD
of hers and listening to several of her songs at one sitting.
Similar to Norah Jones' distintive sound and stylings, this artist
is so listenable for me. I can't imagine hearing a sample track and
ever being disappointed with the rest of the package. There is
enough range and pace across her music to keep it from being
Her voice is so clear and crisp and beautiful, I just love listening to every nuance of the notes that she hits.
Her mellow, soulful, bluesey, slightly jazzy style is something new and different that has been a long time coming but well worth the wait. She will be going places, everywhere!
Are you experiencing a new British invasion this time in the form of Soul/R&B performers? First young blond locked Joss Stone landed on our souls starved shores with two terrific R&B CD's: The Soul Sessions, and Mind, Body & Soul. Can this girl sing soul or what?! Now Corinne Bailey Rae has touched down with a different brand of soul; a brand wrapped in the banner of small intimate bar with a well worn stage, and drifting clouds of smoke laced with the music of past virtuosos of the genre.
Inspired by artists such as Billie Holiday and Jill Scott, Leeds England, born and raised Corinne Bailey Rae released her self-titled debut album in February 2006. The CD debuted at No.1 on the British charts and by the end of the year she has scooped up two music awards--the MOBO Awards--in the United Kingdom for Best UK Newcomer and Best UK Female.
The album also garnered no less than three 2007 Grammy nominations for: Record of the Year, Song of the Year (both for Put Your Records On; track No. 3), and Best New Artist. She even performed Like a Star (track No. 1) during the ceremony; you might remember her on-stage providing background vocals for both John Legend and John Mayer.
While the music of Corinne Bailey Rae is emotive and soulful; for the most part; it is not forceful and in your face; her style more laid back, and dare I say sleepy. This is both good and bad; i.e. the two-thirds of her album "Corinne Bailey Rae" is delightful, fresh, enchanting, but the last third is, well boring; I kept waiting for the album to be over. By the ninth track I had lost interest because Bailey's voice became--after a time--monotone and lifeless.
Soul/R&B has to evoke an emotional response, and like I stated above, the first two-thirds of the album do that, but the overall package leaves me slightly put-off. To her credit Ms. Bailey's album is delightfully devoid of excessive instrumentation; her voice is laid bare for use to judge and enjoy, but it is voice--not unlike Norah Jones'--that is limited in octave acumen if you will. Her voice is pleasant to listen to for a while but then...
Some may compare Corinne Bailey Rae to Sade that other caramel-colored beauty by way of the U.K., but Sade's voice had a unique character all its own that never fails to beg attention and enjoyment. With time Ms. Bailey could achieve such heights. Even one the faster tracks such as Put You Records On (track No.3) and track No. 5 Trouble Sleeping, excitement rarely attaches itself to Ms. Bailey's voice.
Overall I enjoyed "Corinne Bailey Rae," by Corinne Bailey Rae, but only in measured doses thank you.
Songs like "Like A Star," "Put Your Records On," and "Trouble Sleeping" pull the listener in and doesn't let go. With this much talent, a successful, fulfilling future seems to be on the horizon for Ms. Rae, and many of us will be along for the ride.