- Read our article and watch a video of Corinne Bailey Rae.
|1. Like A Star|
|3. Put Your Records On|
|4. Till It Happens To You|
|5. Trouble Sleeping|
|6. Call Me When You Get This|
|7. Choux Pastry Heart|
|9. I'd Like To|
|11. Seasons Change|
My initial reaction to this CD upon trying to listen to it was to go in the completely opposite direction. For a start it took five attempts to listen to it all the way through without nodding off to sleep - it is so easy, one-paced and slickly produced that the temptation was to immediately dismiss it to the cure-for-insomnia or after-dinner-party categories. However, something has made me stick with it and convinced me it's more than just that.
I can't really see the comparison with BH myself, I think it's insulting to both ladies. If it's true that you're influenced by what you hear growing up at home, then I suspect that her family record collection includes Sade, Sly Stone and, from the mockney intro to "Put Your Record On", some All Saints. Corinne's singing voice sounds pure and natural, and very English (no hint of Leeds, though). I'm not sure how strong it is - the nature of the songs are such that she's closely miked and intimate, and they certainly don't warrant or get any vocal gymnastics - but you can hear every word quite clearly, which is quite remarkable.
The songs themselves are all self-penned, with help in the music department from various members of her band. The lyrics are simple and beautiful, some might say too much so, of her experiences in love and, in the later ones, reminiscing about growing up at home. The music is mostly that easy soul-lite pop that some people might call close to R & B. Apart from the current single the tracks are not instantly catchy, but they do grow on you, particularly the first six. "Choux Pastry Heart" is a wonderful title but a sad song with a dreary melody and, despite the hint of dub grooves in the later "I'd Like To" things never fully recover.
Corinne plays guitar and percussion on most of the songs, so she's not just a pretty voice. It's all very well produced - reading the credits they threw everything in except the proverbial kitchen sink - but, apart from some overheated bass guitar on some tracks, it doesn't sound artificial, just warm and comfortable. This will inevitably join the easy listening pile along with **** but it is sufficiently different, in a pure and innocent way, to deserve listening to more closely.
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