STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 16339-11132 LABEL: EMI 3541172 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2006-03-06 RRP: £16.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
By now it must be impossible for you to have missed the ubiquitous "Put Your Records On", the single which has changed everything for Corinne Bailey-Rae. Whilst her debut "Like A Star" and her appearance on Later With Jools Holland was the faint sound of a car alarm somewhere down the street, "Put Your Records On" was a blaring, hard to ignore fanfare heralding the arrival of this Leeds resident. It seems impossible to be launched as a singer now without being labelled. If Joss Stone was the new Aretha, Bailey-Rae is the new Billie Holliday apparently. It's a heavy load to carry since the other artists they're compared with have a whole career to create their signature music and these days it seems like artists are supposed to arrive fully formed! Contemporary comparisons have been made with Erykah Badu and it's true that Bailey-Rae ploughs a similar furrow of jazz-tinged neo soul. Cross Rhythms readers may remember her from her '90s collaborations with the alternative worship albums that came out of Revive, the Leeds youth congregation. So what do you get? Bailey-Rae has written or co-written most of the material here and standouts include the gentle funk of "I'd Like To", the catchiness of "Put Your Records On" and the jazz feel of "Choux Pastry Heart". It's a good start and she's being tagged as a soulful Nora Jones that is probably about right. The instant appeal of the singles and the record company promotional pound will ensure that she breaks through with this album and deservedly so. It's already sold by the bucketload (number one, no less). But it'll take more work for Corinne to create a big enough artistic impact to avoid the tags that compare her to others. For the moment, this infectious, hugely commercial album is the perfect introduction!
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The eagerly awaited debut solo album from former Revive singer, as featured on the Jools Holland show on BBC TV.