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Concert Review: Corinne Bailey Rae – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY – 5/4/10

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Corrine Bailey Rae may be known for her folksy vocals and stunning looks, but Tuesday night, she also showcased her versatility as an instrumentalist. Bouncing between acoustic and electric guitars, in addition to a miniature harp and tambourine, the British chanteuse performed songs from her breakout debut, as well as her sophomore album, The Sea. In fact, the evening’s set-list included every song from her second project, alongside a reggae-inspired cover of “I Only Have Eyes for You” — popularized by Frank Sinatra — and Doris Day’s “Que Sera Sera.”

To the chagrin of some fans, only four songs from Corrine Bailey Rae made the final cut: “Till It Happens to You,” “Like A Star,” “Put Your Records On,” and “Seasons Change.” But for those in attendance who were unfamiliar with the newer tracks, Corinne quickly won them over with her contagious passion and bubbly energy — slipping effortlessly between heaven and earth, while whisking her audience into music’s invisible, transcendent spaces. I, for one, lost my mind when she performed “The Blackest Lily,” which features an amazing guitar solo.

Upon reflection, it is worth noting that up-tempo tracks suit Corinne very well. Much of the audience was shocked (and pleased) to discover that her voice accommodates a wide range of styles, even though her fame is firmly centered around her slower, acoustic guitar-driven melodies. Towards the end of “Put Your Records On,” for example, Corinne let the audience take control, since the acoustics in the intimate venue were slowly overpowering her beautiful voice. And with the crowd's bombastic sing-along now in full effect, a huge grin stretched across her face. It was obvious and apparent that Corrine was thrilled and overcome with emotion.

Although many artists purport music to be the central love of their lives, Corinne Bailey Rae proved that she is more enamored by the adoration and support of her fans. Before, during and after each song, she gazed into the audience and sought out “connections” within the crowd — merging souls, sharing laughs and honoring the presence of others. It was a blessing to be in the midst of a sold-out crowd, yet feel intimately in tune with her musical spirit.


01. Are You Here

02. Paris Nights and New York Mornings

03. Till It Happens To You

04. Love’s On Its Way

05. Like A Star

06. Closer

07. Feels Like the First Time

08. The Blackest Lily

09. I Only Have Eyes for You

10. Put Your Records On

11. Paper Dolls


12. Seasons Change

13. Diving for Hearts

14. I Would Like to Call it Beauty

15. The Sea


16. I’d Do It All Again

17. Que Sera Sera

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About Clayton Perry

  • El Bicho

    I enjoyed her at Coachella, although she wasn’t suited for the festival setting.

    I think you’ll find “I Only Have Eyes for You” was popularized by The Flamingos before Sinatra ever got to it. In fact as the Discographer would point out after checking Wikipedia Rolling Stone magazine ranked the Flamingos’ version #157 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

  • Clayton Perry

    Thanks, El Bicho! 😉

    The person/group who “popularized” a song is subjective, no?

    Maybe? (I dunno.) I’m only 26 years old.

    But I appreciate you fact-checking and “history lesson.”

    Best wishes… ~CRP

  • El Bicho

    “The person/group who “popularized” a song is subjective, no?”

    No. Your favorite version of a song is subjective. The artist that popularized a song is objective. For example, Chris Cornell didn’t popularize “Billy Jean” and Devo didn’t popularize “Satisfaction.” 😉

  • teeveejunkee

    Corinne is awesome live. Saw her at somerset house in london and had an absolute blast! great review btw

  • mskel

    I’ve seen Corinne Bailey Rae twice now (and will be seeing her for the third time this weekend) I must admit, I wasn’t a fan the first time I saw her, but she blew me away the moment she opened her mouth to sing, and now she is my absolute favorite performer. Her version of “Que Sera Sera” is like manna from the heavens. I wish her continued success.