“You were unnervingly delicate.”
Corinne Bailey Rae is best known for the bubbly 2006 hit “Put Your Records On” from her self-titled debut, so it comes as some surprise that her second album is a profound look at the nature of love and loss. Taking inspiration from the sudden death of her husband in 2008, The Sea spans a wide range of styles and textures; everything from the sweeping “I’d Do It All Again” to the rocking “The Blackest Lily” to the poppy throwback soul of “Paris Nights/New York Mornings” finds a place on the record. With The Sea, Rae has created the soundtrack to anyone’s life: an equal mixture of pain and pleasure, a work both intensely personal and remarkably universal. Like its titular inspiration, it ebbs and flows, searching for a truth always hidden just below the waves – and while it may seem hard to absorb at first, the deeper the listener dives, the more they uncover.