She's back, and I couldn't be happier.
For my first music review ever, I wanted to write a review about one of the few artists that really makes my soul happy.
Leeds-based singer Corinne Bailey Rae comes back with the album The Heart Speaks in Whispers. This is her first album since 2011's The Sea, and her third overall. After listening to the album, the first thing that came to mind was that this is an album about acceptance & rediscovery after a period of pain. One thing to note is that Jason Rae, her first husband reportedly died of an accidental overdose in 2008, gave us The Sea's rueful tones. With this in mind, after listening to The Heart Speaks in Whispers in its entirety, there are instances of loss and grief. However, there is a bigger message of healing, the constant evolution of human emotion and ultimately finding love again.
One of the songs in the album that exemplify this idea of finding something again is found in the song Caramel.
You give me strength I don’t know why
Resurrect me from the pyre
And it’s the sweet death of your pain
After all this bitterness
Caramel alludes to finding love again in the form of not just her producer/husband Steve Brown, but also finding within herself to allow love to come again in her life. It's a theme that many artists have touched on, but what I love about this track is in the midst of an amazing melody is the raw truth of what rediscovering life and love is all about.
This sense of rediscovery is found well throughout the album, showing fans the power of using painful experiences to still create amazing and thought provoking music.
Stylistically, The Heart Speaks in Whispers is also a sign of growth as an artist. While there are songs that are reminiscent to her other albums Corinne Bailey Rae & The Sea, there are a few songs that show her exploring new sounds. Two of my personal favorites, Been to the Moon and Green Aphrodisiac, elevates her already amazing Jazz-sound by the addition of Neo-Soul and futuristic beats. Personally, Green Aphrodisiac makes me feel like if D'Angelo and Maurice White made a record together, it would be that song. There are really so many things I can say about this album. I find something new to like about it every time I listen to it.