The Sea by Corinne Bailey Rae – Album Review

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by Matt Callard

It is, of course, impossible to hear The Sea without feeling you are rubbernecking in on the personal tragedy that surrounds it (Rae’s husband died during its creation). But in purely musical terms this represents a huge creative step forward for the Leeds-born singer-songwriter.

the sea corinne bailey rae album reviewTo her eternal credit she neither wallows in grisly sentiment or shies away from facing up to the tragedy. What emerges, ultimately, is a moving and redemptive record.

“That aural wallpaper is torn down”

Musically there’s been a definitive and welcome shift away from the coffee shop jazz-lite that made her name. So here we get bubbling Hammond organs, big orchestral arrangements, languid funk and, most importantly, a couple of genuinely memorable hook-filled choruses.

That aural wallpaper is, finally, torn down.

Occasionally the over-slick production washes out the emotion but when, in the title track, Rae sings: “The sea, the majestic sea, takes everything from me” there’s simply nothing that can detract from its devastating beauty.

A graceful progression.


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