Picks and Pans Review: Corinne Bailey Rae

UPDATED 07/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

Corinne Bailey Rae
CRITIC'S CHOICE
ALT-R&B

When Corinne Bailey Rae opens her self-titled debut singing the radiant ballad "Like a Star" over gently strummed acoustic guitar, it sounds as if that voice has descended from the heavens. It's a sublime instrument—part Billie Holiday, part Erykah Badu—that slays you with its sultry allure, quirky charms and jazzy, understated cool. The elegant neo-soul stylings on this divine disc are the perfect showcase for the 27-year-old singer-songwriter, who just may be the best new British R&B chanteuse since Sade. Whether painfully facing the end of a love affair on the blues-streaked "Till It Happens to You" or getting lost in a romantic reverie on the lush, ambient "Enchantment," Bailey Rae is always captivating. [STARS 4]
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Like a Star"

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