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Corinne Bailey Rae, The Love EP

Corinne Bailey Rae
The Love EP
(Capitol Records)

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Timed perfectly for Valentine’s Day and as homage to some of her favorite recording artists, British singer-songwriter and guitarist Corinne Bailey Rae gives fans The Love EP, an eclectic mix of everything from Prince to Doris Day, literally.

Opening the album is a cover of the 1979 Prince classic, “I Want to Be Your Lover,” which is now a louder, more seductive track; less youthful, more mature. Bailey Rae says, “I love singing rhythmical music but never seem to write anything like that, so getting to do this song was a dream.” So far, so good.

Next on the EP is “Low Red Moon,” a ditty written by ex-Throwing Muses/Breeders singer Tanya Donelly. It’s an alternative rock number with heavy guitars and drum mixed with Bailey Rae’s sugar-coated vocals. She was also influenced by Donelly’s alt-pop band, Belly. “I was addicted to their song ‘Star’ as a teenager and learned loads about guitar playing from listening to them,” she says.

Following “Low Red Moon” is Bob Marley’s “Is This Love,” a sensuous stripped-down cover of the 1978 hit. She says, “I wanted to bring the tempo back to underline the poignancy of the lyric,” which she does quite well.

Next up is Paul McCartney and Wings’ sweet and sentimental “My Love,” a number one single in 1973.  Inspired in part by seeing McCartney perform it at a White House function that she’d been invited to sing at as well, she recalls: “A string section played the song and I was struck by the fragility of that ascending melody.’”

Lastly, The Love EP closes shop with a gospel-tinged blues-induced live version of Doris Day’s 1956 song “Que Sera Sera” featuring additional vocals and guitar by John McCallum. A near replica of Sly Stone’s cover, Bailey Rae says, “I love Sly and the Family Stone’s version; how it takes what feels like a nursery rhyme in Doris Day’s lovely hands and turns it into a philosophical outcry.”

And that, my friends, is the The Love EP, a soulfully eclectic addition to any music lover’s collection.

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About ND McCray

ND McCray is a former Brooklynite, now St. Louis-based writer, penning pieces on arts, culture and other stuff.
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