Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Bailey Rae

This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.

Listeners to Radio 1 might be forgiven for thinking that Ms Bailey Rae is the saviour of British soul and funk. With ‘Put Your Records On’ permanently on the ‘A’ playlist and the bandwagon scooping up, amongst others, Jo Whiley in Joss Stone-esque fashion, it’s not hard to see where all the hype has come from.

Unfortunately, as in the case of Joss Stone, the early promise has failed to deliver an album of any substance. It may be a bit harsh, but alas we may have created the new Katie Melua.

The self-titled Album, ‘Corrine Bailey Rae’ does have moments of inspiration. These do indeed come through the unique youthful, soulful vocals which Bailey Rae seems to produce with the greatest of ease.

These moments, though, are too often drowned in what can only be described as uber-mellow, almost lackadaisical songs. The result is an album which is more Costa Coffee than Costa Brava.

Exceptions are far and few between, but thankfully there are some. Aside from the brilliant ‘Put Your Records On’ and debut single ‘Like A Star’, the most striking exhibit of Bailey Rae’s talent comes from the only true heart-felt ballad on the album ‘Choux Pastry Heart’.

Here we finally get to hear the true capacity of the young starlet, with an emotive vocal performance derserving of her Billy Holiday comparisons.

It seems though that the production of this album is mostly to blame. Whereas songs such as ‘Put Your Records On’ and ‘I’d Like To’ utilise the best in Bailey Rae and combine it with upbeat orchestral accompaniment, there are far too many other examples where this could’ve, but hasn’t, happened.

‘Breathless’ is a perfect example, a song with oodles of potential, but which ends up almost drowning itself in its tiresome lethargic production.

All in all, Corrine Bailey Rae’s debut effort isn’t terrible, in fact it is a credible effort that just fails to make full use of its qualities, but is still certainly worth a listen.