Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rae of light

In February, English chanteuse, Corinne Bailey Ray will release "The Sea", her sophomore longplayer and the follow up to her self-titled, 2006 breakthrough.

The first single from the album will be "I'd Do It All Again", a lovely, honey soaked, tear stained song that could easily be an ode to her husband, Jason, who passed away about 18 months ago.

The video beautifully captures the precious balance of mournful and joyous feelings in the tried and true "Groundhog Day" theme. There's a sense of comfort and security in a routine. The song itself, not a million miles away from her debut, carries on with the soulful and languid Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye influences. A stunning and sumptuous return. A ray of light in the turgid, coffee table backwash of acts like Norah Jones and Michael Bublé.

Then there's this recent, stripped down performance for "Later...With Jools Holland".

Goosebumps! Such a gorgeous combination of heartbreak and exalted joy. Two of the biggest motivators for songwriters. As old as the sands of time and still just as potent.

The final tracklisting for "The Sea" is as follows:

1. Are You Here
2. I'd Do It All Again
3. Feels Like The First Time
4. The Blackest Lily
5. Closer
6. Love's On Its Way
7. I Would Like to Call It Beauty
8. Paris Nights/New York Mornings
9. Paper Dolls
10. Diving For Hearts
11. The Sea

As 2009 comes to a close, I'd like to make mention of a few other artists who are stoking the fires of imminent return. Duran Duran, Bryan Ferry, Elizabeth Fraser, Peter Gabriel, Ellie Goulding, Lucky Soul, Massive Attack, Róisín Murphy, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Sade, Scissor Sisters and Paul Weller, to name a healthy handful, should have gorgeous, newly recorded, digital loveliness available for purchase within the forthcoming, calendar year. I'm looking forward to hearing them all.

Huzzah! Let the new decade begin!

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