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Review: Rae Expresses Grief Artfully On 'The Sea'

Monday, 25 Jan 2010 11:19 AM

Corinne Bailey Rae, "The Sea" (Virgin Records)

"So young for death, we walk in shoes too big, but you play it like a poet, like you always did," Corinne Bailey Rae sings on the song "I Would Like to Call It Beauty."

"You slept a sigh like the angels speak, and we danced into tomorrow on bleeding feet, and I had thought that I would die here, but you pushed me on," Rae continues in a soft, but rich tone.

The ballad, from her sophomore effort "The Sea," is so personal and intimate — you'll get trapped in her emotional web, and it's hard to get out.

The new disc, the follow-up to her 2006 Grammy-nominated, self-titled debut, comes after Rae's husband, Jason Bruce Rae, died due to a drug overdose two years back. Though the event was tragic for 30-year-old Rae, the 11-track set is not overtly depressing. Instead, the songs are silky, smooth and stripped.

"He dresses like this different scene, he'll kiss you, make you feel sixteen," Rae sings on the opener "Are You Here."

Another highlight is "Closer," a sexy R&B-number that finds Rae cooing in a falsetto that would make any guy want to spit the lyrics right back to her: "Oh, your love is so good that I want to show you."

While the CD is a touching one, some songs play like a funky jam session: "The Blackest Lily" has ?uestlove of the Roots going nuts on the drums and tambourine. "Paper Dolls" is vibrant while the getaway tune, "Paris Nights/New York Mornings" is adorable and unforgettable.

"This album, like everything I do, is made to try and impress Jason Bruce Rae," Rae writes in the album's booklet. She's outdone herself because she's impressed us, too.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: "Paris Nights/New York Mornings" is fun and sweet — the perfect song for lovers, and those trying to get there.

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