tue 23/07/2024

Album: Corinne Bailey Rae - Black Rainbows | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Corinne Bailey Rae - Black Rainbows

Album: Corinne Bailey Rae - Black Rainbows

A major stylistic left turn from the easy listening veteran

Not like Corinne Bailey Rae used to be

Anyone who is still dismissing Corinne Bailey Rae as a one-hit wonder of easy listening fayre from almost 20 years ago is going to get their preconceptions well and truly shattered by Black Rainbows. Her fine new album is a diverse but coherent collection that jumps from unlikely genre to unlikely genre throughout – even taking in a couple of punky crackers along the way.

Bailey Rae has said that her new disc is inspired by a collection in The Stony Island Arts Bank, a museum of Black history in Chicago. All that can be said, is that there must be a truly inspirational group of objects on show in the Windy City, because the stylistic jump from Corinne’s last album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers to Black Rainbows is gargantuan. Gone is the rather beige background music and, in its place, there are hypnotic chants, trippy electronica, off-kilter jazz and some seriously noisy punk. Assuming that with such a wide array of sounds, the quality of the tunes is going to be a mixed bag, however, is way off the mark.

Opening tune, “A Spell, A Prayer” has a narcotic and claustrophobic vibe, while the title track binds together dirty electronica and strange jazz and funk vibes. “He Will Follow You with his Eyes” is chilled out psychedelic soul and “Put It Down” brings some trippy RnB to the party. The truly unexpected tunes though are the raw and lairy two-minute single “New York Transit Queen” and the noisy and confrontational “Erasure”, which are both switch-blade sharp.

Quite what her existing fans are going to make of all this is anyone’s guess. However, those who are willing to put their prejudices to one side and give Black Rainbows and Corinne Bailey Rae’s artistic rebirth a try, are in for a very pleasant surprise indeed.

Quite what her existing fans are going to make of all this is anyone’s guess

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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