Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae

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I do catch up with all the hot trends eventually you know.

Anyway, I waited a long time to get around to listening to this, which as we know is "the" sound of 2006. But really, once you strip away the hype is it really up to much? Well as ever the answer is not a black and white one.

The first thing is obviously the voice. And yes, it is a great voice. In fact it's a voice that is worthy of all the hype...which makes it all the more disappointing that the album as a whole is ultimately unworthy of the hype.

It's not that it's a bad album, just that on the whole its a fairly unremarkable one in terms of the songs themselves. Bland just about covers it. If you were being particularily unkind, the phrase "musak" would spring to mind. Despite her wonderful voice the whole thing sounds remarkably souless, as if the bottom line is the money rather than any other more artistic motivation. Many will point the finger at the record company (as they perphaps well should) but we must not lose sight of the fact that Rae has been a willing part of the scheme. She has co-writes on all of the tracks and has perhaps compromised artisic integrity in the short-term with the hope that in the future that she can really break out.

Or maybe its just that her talent really doesn't stretch any further than having a good voice. Stranger things have happened.

I for one hope that this is just somewhat of a false start, albeit a fairly lucrative one. Although the album is at times souless and languid, you get the sense that it won't require major surgery for Rae to come up with something really special, more of a nip and tuck procedure. Whether or not we'll ever see it is not a question that is mine to answer.

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