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Music Review: Corinne Bailey Rae – The Love EP

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Corinne Bailey Rae’s third album, The Love EP is a mixture of love songs — happy ones and sad ones. The singer that brought us “Put your record on” and “Just like a Star” is at it again with The Love EP.  The Love EP is a five-song collection of covers that Bailey Rae calls an “homage to some of my favorite musicians, as well as a conversation between some of my musical influences.”

Corinne Bailey Rae reminds me of a modern day Billie Holliday. She sings so sweetly and yet you can feel that soul and grit in her voice. She takes me to another time!

In the first song on the album, “I Wanna be Your Lover” (Prince remake) she brings back an up-tempo 80’s kind of feeling a little more than the original. The song is very bouncy and this is where she starts her love journey. She wants her lover to be everything, but she is so innocent and naïve and shy as she says. It’s a very sweet song, which reminds me of young love.

Corinne’s second song is “Low Red Moon” (a remake of Tanya Donelly’s song for her band, Belly) and it’s a true departure from the first song. Corinne mostly stays true to the original, but is just slightly more haunting. This is a different Corrine; she has become sensual, but moody in this dark almost creepy song. You can almost feel her pain and suffering. This is not the sweet Corrine we know; she adds a rock spin to this song with the addition of the drums and guitar, something you don’t usually hear on a Corrine Bailey Rae song.

Corrine discussed her love for the band Belly, which had many influences in her own band, Helen: “I was addicted to their song ‘Star’ as a teenager and learnt loads about guitar playing from listening to them. We have made the song, in my opinion, more aggressive and slightly ’60s science fiction.”

“Is This Love” is the third song (Bob Marley remake).  She stays a little true to the original in that it has a 60’s vibe, minus the reggae touch of the original. “I wanted to bring the tempo back to underline the poignancy of the lyric. Marley’s music is so influenced by American doo-wop, so I loved that guitarist John McCallum gave it this Hendrixy/Curtis Mayfield sound, two musicians who also brought doo-wop into their own sound.” Corrine voice is smooth and tender to your ears and you feel the love. This is the sweet Corrine who sang us, “Just Like a Star,” only grown-up.

“My Love” (Paul McCartney & Wings remake) continues her sweet innocence with a simple acoustic guitar intro. It’s hard to not to fall in love with Corrine’s voice and you feel as though she may be talking to her deceased husband in the tune.

Corrine showed us uptempo, grit and sweet innocence, so what’s left is straight up soul on “Que Sera Sera” (Doris Day remake). She shows off her singing chops full of soul mixed with fun. Her sound is a little Alicia Keys mixed with tons of soul! She really remade this song, because the original is very simple.

Corrine’s voice is so strong, yet delicate! Beautiful music with many lovely remakes.

The Love EP drops on January 25, 2011.

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