SoundBites: Corinne did it all again

Since the release of Corinne Bailey Rae’s debut album I have been an avid fan of this jewel from Leeds. The fact that the UK has produced an immense soulful talent but not your obvious R&B/ Pop singer in the UK’s dire music industry, has me completely baffled. Not to discredit the talent that is out in the UK music scene, although going on the obvious chart topping acts like the Saturday’s and JLS, I have reasons to be concerned. The success of tracks like Put Your Record On and Like A Star led to the demand of Corinne on TV shows including Later with Jools Holland, had her booked on institutional festivals like Glastonbury and resulted in her most recent performance at the White House.

Corinne was turning out to be the hidden gem across UK mainland, as well across the pond in the States. So when news of the untimely death of Husband Jason Rae surfaced, people were unsure of the future of her music career. A loss like that at a young age could dislodge anyone completely from the path laid in front of them. But as a devoted fan that kept tracks like ‘Call Me When You Get This on loop and I was still longing for some fresh material.

Then in February this year a second album was released from Corinne and shockingly I did not know about it! Although in all honesty I stopped looking out for it and assumed that Corinne would be out of the limelight for a while. But when I finally stumbled across the latest album The Sea I did not have the urge to download it. This was purely on the assumption that The Sea may be dreary and laden with tear-jerking melodramatic songs and quite frankly I wasn’t in the mood for that. My iPod had been blasting out Calvin Harris and tonnes of electro dance tracks over the summer and there was no way I was going to put a downer on my musical high. Thankfully this all changed one day on a frantic shift at work during the summer sale when Closer, the debut single from The Sea album, was added to their almost never changing playlist. Instantly I knew it was Corinne’s delicate husky vocals that cannot be passed off by anyone other than Corinne herself. It was uplifting and sexy, not what I expected from somebody dealing with grief. Then more and more tracks were being added to the playlist, including Paris Nights/ New York Mornings and Feels like the first time. So eventually I got it off iTunes and have never regretted it since.

Yes, there are tracks that are obviously connected to the relationship she had with her late husband. But they are so beautifully written and sung that only a smile is what will be seen on my face whilst indulging in this epic album. Corinne sums up the initial feeling I got from The Sea in an interview with the Guardian, “You find out there’s a lot of beauty and grace even in the darkness. In the way people treat you, in nature, in the things you maybe took for granted. There is something miraculous that pushes you along, makes you keep going, makes you carry on. It’s really about the mystery of that. In fact, the whole album is about that in a way; it’s about loss but it’s also about hope, about keeping going and trying to find that beauty.”

The Sea most certainly outweighs the debut Corinne Bailey Rae LP. In so many elements too, from the complexity of the lyrics and the multiple meanings within songs like Would Like To Call It Beauty, all while keeping the melodies simple and dramatic. I will be undeniably keeping this album on loop for a long time to come.

Here’s the breathtaking I’d Do It All Again.

With Joy and Peace,

Chezelli…

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