A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that on her debut album, Corinne Bailey Rae sings sophisticated, soulful ballads about the ups and downs of love: falling in love with your best friend, being in love, wishing for love. Every song contains a fresh silky sound without any explicit language or iffy messages.
What's the story?
CORINNE BAILEY RAE delivers 11 exquisitely simple love songs on her self-titled debut CD. With a voice that could be the love child of Rickie Lee Jones and Sade, this newcomer from England glides through lyrics that describe the emotional impact of the ups and downs of love with visually descriptive images of moments in time. On "I'd Like To," Rae describes far more than a picnic menu: "Growing up we didn't have a lot of money/used to spend our summers having parties on the drive/plastic cups for rum and punch/eating chicken that's hot and sweet/all the women discussing what love is like/ooh you know the way I mean." She sends a gentle message of be-yourself empowerment for girls on "Put Your Records" ("Ooh don't you hesitate/girl, put your records on/you go ahead let your hair down/sapphire and faded jeans/I hope you get your dreams").
Is it any good?
The church choir background and a taste for minimalist musical arrangements provide the perfect backdrop for Rae's smooth, soulful vocals. Here's an artist who knows who she is, and isn't afraid to share her vision. She plays guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion, and co-wrote every song on the album. Understated playing and articulate, imaginative songwriting make the most successful songs those that touch on larger emotions by describing tiny moments in time. Lyrics are mostly about love (the good, the bad, and the ambivalent) and memories of earlier, simpler times.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how many different ways a lyricist can express emotion. Corinne Bailey Rae uses a simple description of a moment in time. Can you think of other ways to express your feelings through a song besides the words? Do some instruments bring out more emotion than others? Families can also discuss the similarities between songs and poems. Can they be classified as one in the same? How are they different?