Album Review: Corinne Bailey Rae’s “The Heart Speaks in Whispers”
May 17, 2016
It’s difficult to mention Corinne Bailey Rae’s name without instantly hearing her soulful voice singing “Put Your Records On.” A track that struck up a chord when she released her first album 10 years ago. But the Leeds artist’s glitter-filled sounds faded with the sudden death of her first husband in 2008; releasing The Sea, an album inspired by dark themes and grief.
Now she’s back; with a new-found optimism, musical rebirth, and a record that is most definitely a breath of fresh air. The Heart Speaks in Whispers is an ode to a deep internal metamorphosis. The album’s artwork features Corinne Bailey Rae enveloped by undulating technicolors; the most fitting way to present the theme of her new album.
Best known for her neo-soul and folky inspired tones, Rae’s newest offering is made up of 70’s inspired electro-funk complimented by collaborators such as drumming icon James Gadson and bassist Marcus Miller. The album fearlessly opens up with ‘The Skies Will Break’, which perfectly evokes Rae’s warm and crisp voice through electronic waves and synths. ‘Green Aphrodesiac’ a sensual and breezy joint with hints of psychedelic textures; the track is a kiss on a warm bare back and lends itself perfectly to its lyrics, “Laying in the grass in the afternoon, Something kind of magical in sunlight.”
The Heart Speaks in Whispers represents Rae’s true artistry and versatility. When your life seems like it’s getting consumed in all the chaos, this album reminds us to silence the noise and just observe and listen to what is true to our hearts.