MP3 02 Corinne Bailey Rae Concert.mp3 (46.87 MB)

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We’ve written about Corinne Bailey Rae thrice before (here, here and here) so pardon me if I don’t rehash stuff we’ve already said. Also, by now, if you’ve read about Corinne before you probably also know that her husband died when her success was jetting upward. Certainly that was a horrible push on the career pause button.
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Understandably, dealing with grief, thoroughly affected her artistic persona. Gone is the twirling in the sunshine happy young woman sound that was so enchanting about her earlier performances and recordings. Corinne's new music is still pop but it’s also serious, much heavier in it’s emotional weight. When I first heard The Sea, her new album, I was not attracted to the sound of it.
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Then I heard about the KCRW Benefit Concert and hoped it would be stronger than performance excerpts I’d been checking out here and there on the internet. The opening tracks were good without being great and I started to chalk the new album up to self-therapy and healing but then I heard the short interview segment. Following the interview the music got stronger and I especially enjoyed the covers of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and the Sly Stone inspired “Que Sera Sera” (which is the finale selection).
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There seems to my ears to be a push/pull dichotomy going on. Why are the covers stronger than the originals? This band is much more pop oriented but it’s the soul oriented tracks that sound the stronger, especially “Que Sera Sera.” On the other hand, this album is a definite statement from a talented singer/songwriter who is reaching for far, far more than simply trying to create another hit.
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Life is hard. Also fickle. And definitely unpredictable. The whiplash of undreamed of highs/successes reversed by physical and emotional losses is a monster to deal with. I admire that Corinne is strong enough to continue. Here’s hoping that she survives and prospers; certainly she has paid her dues.
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If you like what you hear, I encourage you to go the KCRW Website and watch a video of the performance.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

This entry was posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 1:57 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.

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