Corrine Bailey Rae: Healing power

About four years ago the stylish neo-soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae topped the U.K and U.S charts with her self-titled debut album Put Your Records On, and soon after she was on everyone’s playlist. 

It is very difficult for anyone who reviews this album to be objective after a very public death of her musician husband Jason Rae. 

Corrine Bailey Rae has finally released an album called The Sea after not releasing an album for two years following her husband’s death. 

Judging from her very calm and peaceful album cover one might expect the songs to be very sad, however that is not so; they just have more depth than the ones on her debut album. Rae paid tribute to her late husband Jason Rae in her opening track:

Are You There,

He’s a real live wire,

he’s the best of his kind;

he’ll kiss you and make you feel 16.

This is a very different album and it allows her to unshackle for the rest of The Sea. It provides a very honest singer and song writer record full of hooks and a very soulful production. To produce this very successfully crafted piece Rae reunited with the same production team she worked with for her debut which includes Steve Brown and also Steve Chrisanthou. Apart from the serious meaning of many tracks, The Sea also has some buoyant, funky songs. The Blackest Lily has a rocking guitar solo and tinge of a gospel organ, which however does not outshine Rae’s vocals. The slow burn of Closer a song where she seduces her lover;

I want you to travel with me

Lay loose and let your mind go free,

will definitely be enjoyed by fans her first album. Rae’s versatility is again displayed like in her first album on Paris Nights/New York Mornings, which has a very straightforward rock tempo.

The last two tracks Diving for Hearts and The Sea sum up the deeper meaning of the album. Her personal tragedy is again referred to by the former song. It is visible that Rae seeks to find peace and removal of her pain; it seems like writing the songs is some kind of therapy for her.  The final cut, the title track, achingly recapitulates her grief:

The sea, the majestic sea

Breaks everything, crushes everything

Cleans everything, takes everything

From me

The overall album shows her endurance to her husband’s death, and expresses the hope she has for the future. Fans should expect something different from the first album and may not understand the meaning of the album but by repeating the songs they will appreciate the beauty of it.



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