A New Star

From The United Kingdom

In her home state of United Kingdom, Corinne Bailey Rae was well received early in her career. After she appeared on BBC2's "Later With Jools" and performed in intimate settings around the UK, people started to think she's the next big thing. When her self-titled debut album was released in 2006, it astonishingly debuted at Number One in the UK. The same album went straight into the Billboard Top 20 in the United States. That made her an international star just months after her music went out on the market. By the way, she was the first British female singer-songwriter to do so in decades.

Grand Decision

For me personally, I think it's magnificent that Corinne Bailey Rae turned down recommendations to make her next album with this or that big-time producer in a studio funded with loads of money. She gracefully continued work with the same people as she has in the past. Thus, she co-produced her second album, "The Sea," that came out in early 2010. Her friends and musicians she had worked with in the past collaborated with her to finish the project.

My Thoughts

Corinne was fortunate to retain intimacy and control of her work. Kelly Clarkson achieved huge success with her "Breakaway" album. When her subsequent album, "My December," came out, she had a public dispute with Clive Davis involving their differences over the direction of producing it. Apparently wanted more control over her album.


Corinne Bailey Rae's vocal and writing talents are also being praised by many luminaries such as Stevie Wonder. They are saying her second album will elevate her to a higher level of greatness. Thank goodness she's so humble that she avoids discussing her achievements.

Locations of Production

Corinne Bailey Rae used Limefield Studios as the main place to record her songs. Steve Brown co-owns the place, which is actually a magical house in Manchester. He also co-produced the tracks recorded there.

More Production Locations

Corinne is from Leeds and still lives there. She utilized her home to do more recording. In addition, she also went to her other co-producer's place called 600 Feet Studio. Steve Chrisanthou owns the studio that really is 600 feet up on a Yorkshire hillside. Furthermore, there was a trip to Manchester to record strings and horns at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Corinne Bailey Rae's Second Album

"The Sea" is a collection of songs about despair and inspiration, grief and hope, loss and love. It was a chance for her to embrace the pain she experienced. She said she "wanted to be open." Music helped her achieved it. She didn't want to set up anything for the album. She didn't tried to hide any of her feelings both good and bad. There was no need for her to think.

The Blackest Lily

When Corinne went to Los Angeles to collaborate with soul legend Al Green, she worked on the sixth track, Take Your Time, from his "Lay It Down" album (2009). It was in Los Angeles that she teamed up with drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and keyboard player James Poyser of the The Roots for the fourth track on her "The Sea" album, "The Blackest Lily." The song is named after a nighttime theme that Ahmir ran in his house. She said Jill Scott and Erykah Badu and the rest of the Roots would come over. Other musicians from Philadelphia would join to jam, hang out, and eat food cooked by a hired chef. She fancy the image of being The Blackest Lily.

Are You Here
I'd Do It All Again

The first track on Corinne's new album is Are You Here. She started worked on it after grieving a long time for the loss of her husband, Jason Rae. It is evidently a very moving, emotional song. Her second track, I'd Do It All Again, conversely was written before his death. She wrote it after they had a big argument. As she was playing with her guitar, it came out of her. That's why this love song is a special one for her.

I Would Like to Call It Beauty

The seventh track, I Would Like to Call It Beauty, is a must song to play it live because Corinne enjoys the interplay between she and her drummer. Her late husband's brother gets credit as the co-writer because the title came from a conversation she had with him while she was grieving. As they both were comparing their own views of the world, she was astounded when he said, "I would like to call it . . . beauty." Basically, she then understood that she's so beautiful for surviving a loss of a love one. (This is the author speaking. She has survived without tearing apart her life. Compare to what others would do if they were in her shoes, her beauty didn't let her succumb to a weakness.)

Paris Nights/ New York Mornings
Paper Dolls

The eight and ninth tracks, Paris Nights/ New York Mornings and Paper Dolls, respectively, refers to the realization that Corinne Bailey Rae does feel she's part of a dynamic musical group in reference again to the The Blackest Lily song. Now she is confident that she's not an outsider. It's the same musicians and friends that continues to contribute to her "The Sea" album. For Paper Dolls, she reminisence how people's expectations makes you become a certain shape. Yet, each person is capable to be more different than people's imagination. For example she was and still is obedient even though she made friends with "bad girls" at school.

The Sea

The first song that was recorded for the album the title track, was done in a barn near Scarborough during the winter time. Being close to the sea helped to bring out the environment so Corinne could feel it being a mystical and believing she was in the perfect spot at the right time to record the song. The tranquil song with the lyrics Goodbye Paradise memorializes a family tragedy. When Corinne's maternal grandfather died in a boating accident, her aunt was on the beach when it happened. Corinne never realized her aunt witnessed it even though she grew up knowing the story. The sense of powerlessness experienced by the aunt is explained on the song. Moreover, Corinne noticed that she was thinking a lot about the grief of losing her husband.

Corinne reflects The Sea is about uniting the bonds of grief including everyone else that she knows. She states that the purest things survive as the bonds deepened and the dross is washed away. The album covers the waterfront of human emotions. She just wants to be real and honest when she makes music.


none. Corinne Bailey Rae. none. 30 7 2010. http://www.corinnebaileyrae.net/#about.php

Note: Excuse me for using only one reference.