Remember my post on the sad, sordid state of music? I must have been looking on the wrong continent. No one told me about British singing phenom Corinne Bailey Rae. It took a suggestion from Amazon.com for me to learn about my new favorite neo-soul/jazz singer. There I was clicking myself into a stupor shopping for the latest album from one of my other favorite neo-soulstresses, India.Arie. Amazon made the recommendation as I completed checkout based on other people’s buying habits — I buy the vast majority of my CDs “used” via the Amazon Marketplace nowadays.
Now just about anyone who buys India.Arie albums is cool with me so this was a recommendation worth pursuing. I took the leap after doing some research and listening to a few unflattering, 30-second, monaural clips online. (India’s Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship hasn’t arrived in my mailbox yet so that album review will take a few weeks.)
Back to Corinne Bailey Rae. The woman can sing. Simply put, she channels many of the best elements of Norah Jones (effortless melody), Billie Holiday (phrasing), India.Arie (creativity & lyricism) and Cassandra Wilson (soul). If you like any of those singers, buy Corinne’s eponymous debut. If you don’t like any of them, welcome to planet Earth.
There is not a truly bad song in the bunch which is a rare feat neither the likes of Norah nor India has been able to pull off.
My “Top 3”:
- “Till It Happens to You”
- “Like a Star”
- “Choux Pastry Heart”
She’s 27 and already has a fairly detailed Wikipedia entry if you’re interested in learning more. By the way, some former English rugby player is squatting on my entry. Check out his claim to fame (copied from Wikipedia):
“Smith’s trademark skill was an irresistible dummy** and a beautiful pair of hands, while his ability to glide through the tightest defenses made him a valuable center.”
Yet he has a Wikipedia entry and I don’t. The horror! :shocked:
** – I, like many of you, had never seen the phrase “irresistible dummy” used to describe someone’s “trademark skill” before. So, before you fill the role of Ignorant Dummy at the next rugby debate, you should know it’s both an official role and strategy. Any sport which features “dummies”…well…you know the rest.