Like A Star
In late 2005, I heard this record on the car radio. Although I didn’t catch the title, I did hear the name of the singer. It was Corinne Bailey Rae, and she was completely unknown to me. It was just the sort of music that I like. Clear vocals, beautiful tone, and lyrics suggesting some sort of relationship difficulties. There was nothing flash, and a purity in the singing that was instantly believable. I concluded that this young woman was singing from experience. You would be hard-pressed to conjure up emotion on this level.
A year later, and I saw her on TV, promoting her eponymous CD release with her new song, ‘Put your Records On.’ This was also an excellent song, but with a different feel; upbeat, and happy. She went on to have a significant hit with this track as a single, and I bought her album based on these two songs. This can often be a mistake, but on this occasion, it was a wise decision. With my favourite song as the opening track, the whole thing was immensely enjoyable, and showed remarkable talent from the British newcomer. She went on to success here, where her CD won numerous awards and accolades, and in America too, receiving a Grammy award. Her songs were picked up to be used frequently in film soundtracks, and in episodes of top television shows.
Her next record wasn’t released until four years later. In the period between, her husband died, and her grief would not allow her to perform or record. She finally produced ‘The Sea’ in 2010, another compilation of personal and emotional songs. Since then, she has continued to work, but has released very few records since, and rarely appears on TV, or in concert. This is one of the favourite records of the later part of my life, and to my mind, a work of considerable importance and quality.