CORINNE BAILEY RAE
Corinne Bailey Rae (Capitol)
On this British beauty's debut, her sultry voice sounds like a cross between Jill Scott's embellishments and Joss Stone's breathy breeziness. Like both of those neo-soul singers, Bailey Rae infuses her music with a healthy mix of jazz and a little bit of funk, and in the process, she's created a light, easy-listening type of record. In fact, Corinne Bailey Rae is so easy to listen to that at times it doesn't sink in. Songs run together with little differentiation; the casual listener will hardly notice the changes between tracks. The first single, "Like a Star," is lovey-dovey, but not so saccharine that you'll want to go running to the loo, which proves to be a model for the rest of the album. Her lyrics are romantic, but down to earth. (On the single, she sings: "I don't argue like this with anyone but you." Ouch.) More upbeat songs like "Put Your Records On" and "Trouble Sleeping" are catchy tunes that should be playing on sunny days with the windows open. And that's precisely what this album is -- a sunny spring day. Whether you're out in the park or relaxing with your lover in the afternoon, it's the perfect backdrop.