Rae of light

England's next big export?
By KEN MICALLEF  |  March 15, 2006

Corinne Bailey RaeTouted as the second coming of Erykah Badu and Billie Holiday by the London press, Corinne Bailey Rae is a twentysomething singer whose luxurious, lazy phrasing and sweet tone are closer to Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues. Her three-song EP Like a Star is an iTunes exclusive and a teaser for the full-length CD, which is set to arrive here in June. It’s as easy to love as sugary lemonade.

Corinne Bailey Rae, “Enchantment” |Tinkling bells and sweeping strings introduce this balmy trip-hop groover, as Bailey Rae drapes the lush backdrop with her sleepy, gossamer tones. The song swings pleasantly over a cardboard-box beat, her heavy-lidded vocal adding to its codeine-sweet allure.

Corinne Bailey Rae, “Like a Star” |The song that melted hearts on the BBC’s Later . . . With Jools Holland, “Like a Star” revels in Bailey Rae’s sweet/simple delivery, a plucked acoustic guitar, and placid beat. She barely moves the air around her, but her presence is enough to stop time.

Corinne Bailey Rae, “Choux Pastry Heart” |By now her method is clear and her delivery standardized. Bailey Rae never puts out much energy when her feline purr and sexy lethargy will do.

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