Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Corinne Bailey Rae

The Love EP

(Capitol; US: 25 Jan 2011; UK: 14 Feb 2011)

This handful of cover tunes offers more hits than misses.

Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Love EP” is exactly what the title suggests: a short, five-track collection of love songs. There are cover versions of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, Bob Marley’s “Is This Love”, Tanya Donnelly’s “Low Red Moon” and Paul McCartney’s “My Love”. However, the standout of the record is easily the final cut, a thirteen-minute live version of “Que Sera Sera” which features a soulful duet with John McCallum. The song starts slow, builds to a rousing climax, then fades away to a four-minute coda at the end. It’s a lovely rendition, and the singers’ voices intertwine beautifully.


Elsewhere, results are mixed. Prince’s tune kicks off the set and is heavy on the synths, blotting out Rae’s fine but delicate voice. “Low Red Moon” is unexpectedly rocking, with blasts of fuzzy guitar; again, Rae gets a little lost, but the song is undeniably catchy. The other songs are softer—“Is This Love” might be too soft—and bring the vocals right up front in the mix. If nothing else, Rae is to be commended for branching out and trying new styles, but it’s that final song that really makes this record worthwhile.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


Media
Corinne Bailey Rae - "Que Sera Sera" Live
Related Articles
23 Feb 2010
An album of sultry grooves and deep emotion, on which Rae finds a kind of peace -- if only in beautifully embracing her art again, amid loss and mystery.
27 Jun 2006
Corinne Bailey Rae has the right ingredients but the wrong recipe on debut.
discussion by

Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.