Quick Thoughts: Corinne Bailey Rae Returns Capably on “Green Aphrodisiac”


Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks in Whispers © Virgin

She’s back! Who you ask? Corinne Bailey Rae of course – who else? It has been TOO long since the world heard from the Grammy-winning British adult contemporary R&B/neo-soul artist. Finally after a six-year hiatus between albums, Bailey Rae releases her third LP, The Heart Speaks In Whispers via Virgin Records. While we’ll have to wait until May for the album, single “Green Aphrodisiac” is already upon us. Did Corinne Bailey Rae return with a bang or nah?

“Green Aphrodisiac” will instantly make the listener hearken back to the days of “Put Your Records On” (Corinne Bailey Rae, 2006). If you partook of the less popular The Sea (2010), listeners will hear the low-key soulfulness of “I’d Do It All Again,” a record that percolates to a boil. “Green Aphrodisiac” begins slowly, somewhat enigmatic before peaking up steam and finding Bailey Rae letting loose. Bailey Rae, now 37, never over sings, but she also never under sings,finding poise yet captivating without a hitch.

The best way to look at “Green Aphrodisiac” is for what it is, not its commercial potential. Commercially, this adult contemporary R&B joint won’t win over the airwaves, and it shouldn’t be expected to do so. But in regards to R&B circles, this is clearly fire. For the minority of fans who still believe in R&B, Corinne Bailey Rae and “Green Aphrodisiac” certainly keep R&B afoot.

★★★½

Corinne Bailey Rae • “Green Aphrodisiac” • The Heart Speaks in Whispers • Virgin

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One comment

  1. She tore this song the f*** up! Beautifully rising falsetto, slow boiling lower register. This young woman has a bluesy, world-weary tinge of melancholy in every rapturous note. ****

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