Review: Corinne Bailey Rae, ‘The Sea’

Review: Corinne Bailey Rae, ‘The Sea’: Aidin Vaziri | Even though it felt about as substantial as a springtime breeze, the sweet pop-soul sound of Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled 2006 debut helped the British singer sell nearly 2 million albums and earn three Grammy nominations. Her follow-up arrives under less ideal circumstances. Rae suffered a devastating blow two years ago when her husband, saxophonist Jason Rae, died of an accidental drug and alcohol overdose. With “The Sea” she attempts to process her pain while hanging on to the sunshine that made her such a widespread success. Too often, the album leaves you wanting something, anything more. But when Rae gets it right – like on the sensual “I Would Like to Call It Beauty” or the harrowing, gospel-tinged title track – there’s a thrilling sense of real life leaking through the well-mannered grooves. “The sea/ The majestic sea/ Breaks everything/ Crushes everything/ Cleans everything/ Takes everything from me,” Rae sings.

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