Album: Corinne Bailey Rae, The Sea (Virgin)

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The Independent Culture

Anyone expecting more of the quirky, chirpy melodies of Bailey Rae's multimillion-selling debut is in for a shock at the start of her comeback.

Two years after the death of her husband, opener "Are You Here" finds Bailey Rae summoning a tidal wave of emotion in a song awash with grief. But life goes on, and by track two – lead single "I'd Do It All Again" – Bailey Rae has reverted to form, though throughout The Sea her vocals have taken on a smoky quality that lends depth to even the more lightweight material.