See, now this is the kind of news that just makes me smile. Corinne Bailey Rae first started tugging at my heart strings with her super sunshiney single “Put Your Records On” back in 2006. Following the release of her debut self-titled album, Bailey Rae went straight to #1 one on the UK Album Chart as well as the top of the UK R&B Albums Chart.. The album did amazing well overseas as well, peaking at #4 on the Billboard 200 and has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. Both a critical success as well as a chart success, expectations were high for Bailey Rae’s follow up record…but would we ever hear from the talented Grammy-nominated chanteuse again?
Sure, Bailey Rae released a live CD/DVD in 2007 but what about new material!? Well, the tragic death of her husband Jason Rae in March of 2008 seemed to put any future music plans on hold and she sort of disappeared from sight. Well, kids – put your records on because Corinne Bailey Rae is going to be back in 2010 as she prepares to release her first new album in four years! The Sea is set to be released in the UK on February 1st and on February 2nd in the U.S. and was co-produced by Bailey Rae herself along with Steve Brown and Steve Chrisanthou – the latter served as producer throughout much of her debut.
The new album will see a departure from the happy and carefree sounds that filled up her self titled debut, instead replacing happiness with the more melancholy themes of loss and grief. Totally understandable. Bailey Rae has had a rough couple of years and has most likely had time to do a lot of soul searching and writing about her feelings. Despite the depressing undertones of the new album, “a sense of beauty and wonder ultimately radiates from the album’s dark corners,” according to a press release. Billboard.com reports that “the breezy pop soul” of her debut have all been replaced with more “deeply personal songs.”
“There is something miraculous that pushes you along, makes you keep going, makes
you carry on. It’s really about the mystery of that. In fact, the whole album is about that in a way; it’s about loss but it’s also about hope, about keeping going and trying to find that beauty,”
Bailey Rae said in an interview with the U.K.’s Observer Music Monthly back in October.
During her first major live performance since the death of her husband, Bailey Rae debuted songs from The Sea at The Tabernacle in West London on November 23rd. According to Billboard, highlights include emotional ballads (“I’d Like To Call It Beauty” & “I’d Do It All Again“), an up-tempo number likely to be the album’s first single, called “Paris Nights & New York Mornings.” Also straying away from the sounds of her last album are a couple of songs with “jazz and soul touches augmented by a rockier sound” (“Are You Here?” and “Paper Dolls“). Balancing out the set, Rae incorporated 3 of her hits – “Like a Star” “Put Your Records On” and “Til It Happens to You.”
Whatever soulful sounds come out of Corinne Bailey Rae, it’s evident that she has been missed by her fans (myself included). Playing such an intimate gig allowed for the fans in attendance to send her lots of love up onto the stage, with one fan shouting “We missed you!.” Bailey Rae replied – “I missed you too.” Indeed. Welcome back, love.