I love classic songs: because they are so pure and succinct. That's what I tried to do with my own songs. They are short and sweet, to the point. I like the idea of leaving people wanting more, not less, you know?
—Corinne Bailey Rae

Could it be pure coincidence that Corinne’s father is from St. Kitts (which is where Joan Armatrading is from)? Could it be coincidence that both Joan and Corinne are songwriter/singers? Could it be coincidence that they both are into pop music?


Though there are similarities, there are also differences. When I first heard Corinne, I wasn’t overly impressed. It took me a couple of listens to really get it. And then when I saw her videos, I more completely understood, because I saw that her sound was not an affectation but rather a sincere announcement of a new voice on the block.
corinne 07.gif  
At 27 years old she has over ten years of professional and semi-professional musical experience. Much like some of the jazz vocalists she admires, she paid her dues developing her talents before signing to a major label. She is no overnight discovery.

Her debut album is good; very, very good in spots. But beyond the studio work, the live cuts reveal a songwriter who can really sing. A slip of a woman, whose slight frame, crooked smile and wide-eyed air of innocence is beguiling and far more seductive, in an enchanting way, than the bump-and-grind, in-your-face persona proffered by the proliferation of sex-vixens that is the common profile of twenty-something female singers in contemporary music.

All four of the songs are from Corinne’s eponymous debut, although “Put Your Records On” and “Til It Happens To You” are live versions of the album tracks. If you click on the song title, you can view the performance videos.
Corrine’s big single is “Put Your Records On” and the beautiful video for the song is also available online.

In a feature for the BBC in which she was selected the best up-and-coming artist of 2006, Corinne explained her view of songwriting with an emphasis on personal relationships: “A lot of the songs are hopeful and optimistic about love but also really realistic, from my own experience knowing that people can start off feeling so close and things can really fall apart. I couldn't write a totally rosy view of love because that's just not my experience and it's not true. And it makes me annoyed when people do because I think it's just selling people a lie." Go here to view an electronic press release (a video interview with snippets of music and live appearances)—be patient it's 15 minutes long and takes a long time to download.

Corrine's songs are based on a clear-eyed examination of life experiences, and as such are truthful reflections of complex situations. The hallmark of sophisticated writing is the ability to clearly present contradictions, helping the audience to relate to and feel the push and pull of conflicting emotions without labeling one or the other totally wrong or totally right. Hitting the right notes, the right tone to express the ambiguities of relationships is not a simple accomplishment.
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While her songwriting is strong, it’s the way are voice breaks a beat before or after gliding and swooping, the way she negotiates the movement from husky contralto to soaring in the soprano range with seemingly effortless grace, the shyness (which could easily be interpreted as innocence) at the edges of her mature declarations, all of that adds to her artistry and causes the listener to take notice.

Really, what is attractive about Corinne Bailey Rae is the total package: the songs, the voice, the performing persona. Corinne is starting off with a bang. Here’s hoping she can sustain her career for forty plus years as has Joan Armatrading. That would be much more than a wonderful coincidence, that would be damn near a miracle. If she does it, Corinne will be only the second British-based, female singer/songwriter to do so.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

           Better than I thought           

Corinne is better than I thought she was. Before Kalamu's post, I'd already heard two songs of her’s, "Like A Star" and "Enchantment." I like them both, but I really like "Enchantment." It's well, it's enchanting. Now that I'm hearing some of Corrine's, other stuff, particularly "Put Your Records On" and "I'd Like To," I'm realizing that Corrine is more than just a decent pop singer. She's a good songwriter as well; someone to really keep an eye on. Like Kalamu, I'm hoping that this debut album is only the beginning.

—Mtume ya Salaam

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 30th, 2006 at 12:14 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “CORINNE BAILEY RAE / “I’d Like To””

Bianca Says:
April 30th, 2006 at 8:57 am

Hearing Corinne eased my mind. She’s a breath of freshest air!

victor effiong Ibok Says:
April 30th, 2006 at 9:40 am

You have made me , your family, the entire black race proud through your prudent talent.

Kiini Says:
May 2nd, 2006 at 4:44 pm

She may be good, but you played her by putting her with Joan. Joan is a woman! A powerhouse! I couldn’t listen to Corrine sandwiched between the original compositions of a master. It sounded very limited bounded by formular (which I’m sure I would never think if I heard it outside the Joan envelope).

          the comparison is the point, sez kalamu         

kiini, i understand your perception that joan is a powerful woman and that corinne is not in the same league, however, the comparison is important. joan was approximately the same age corinne is when joan did her third album. age-wise the comparison is apt. corinne’s persona is that of an ingenue, an attractive young adult who is just blossoming into full womanhood. there is an aura of innocence surrounding corinne. joan on the other hand "seems" to have been an old lady before she hit twenty-five. the main issue of convergence is that both these women decided to pursue career’s in pop music. the difference is that joan found a way to infuse her music with the wisdom of experience, whether joan obtained all this wisdom thru first-hand experience, or thru observing the experiences of others, or (more likely) a shrewd combination of the two, is the wonder of joan armatrading the artist. corinne’s comments lead me to believe that she is interested in exploring the same terrain that joan so deftly mines. here’s hoping corinne will produce the diamonds that compare to the crown jewel of joan armatrading, artist extraordinaire!

Raquel Says:
May 26th, 2006 at 12:00 am

Im from brazil and now I know about her songs and I loveeee them…I have a friend and he lives in London and he sent me her cd and Im listening it everyday…congratulations…it is wonderful.


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