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Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae - Capitol

Along with Gnarls Barkley, Corinne Bailey Rae has made one of the most spectacular debut splashes of the first half of this year. This 27 year-old, Leeds, England native's eponomous album is a versatile, flowing, 11-song listen that sounds perfect for these hot summer days (and nights).

Blessed with a lovely, kitten-ish voice that is the centerpiece of her music, Rae - who wrote or co-wrote every song on this album - has certainly absorbed the gamut of popular music from the past 30 years or so. Her jazzy stylings sound wonderful next to the easy hip-hop beats that punctuate most of these songs. The subject matter is love, in all its' forms, but Rae has a way with words that shed a new light on the universal emotion, as "Breathless" and "Call Me When You Get This" boldly display. Songs like "Enchantment" and "I'd Like To" have attitude to spare without really trying. It all sounds natural, and it all sounds like it was written and performed with confidence and verve.

Corinne Bailey Rae sounds right at home on XPN, but it's also getting plenty of attention at radio formats like smooth jazz, pop, and adult contemporary. In this age of musical departmentalization, that's a remarkable achievement in and of itself. Rae plays World Cafe Live on Monday August 21st, and it may be your only chance to catch her in such an intimate setting, at leastfor a long, long time...

written by Dan Reed

Featured Album of the Week July 31, 2006 | CD of the Month September, 2006

BUY THIS CD: Corinne Bailey Rae

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