A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that even though this album deals with the singer's own personal loss, the lyrics aren't too heavy or morose. The love songs stay nearly squeaky clean, aside from a few sensual lines about wanting someone and laying down with a man on "Are You Here" and "Closer." But for the most part, the ambient soul is teen-friendly and well-balanced in offering some depth, but not too much drama.
What's the story?
In early 2008, Corinne Bailey Rae's husband and fellow musician Jason Rae was found dead from an apparent drug-related accident. Coming off the success of her debut album, Bailey Rae was in the process of writing her next album when the tragedy occurred. THE SEA is the result of these writing sessions and subsequent compositions created after her husband's death. The album is thus a mix of grief and soul-searching pieces and more upbeat love songs.
Is it any good?
Although at times Bailey Rae's lyrics might be abstract or unintelligible, overall this album offers up quite the visceral response. Her moody, soulful, and sometimes funky vocals play each role perfectly, and there's an emotional investment in her harmonies that make even the hardest to comprehend statement perfectly understandable. Although much attention will be given to her soul-searching tracks that relate to her partner's death, Bailey Rae's talent sparkles on more upbeat songs like "Paris Nights/New York Mornings" and "The Blackest Lily." Thoughtful teens who like soul will find much to enjoy here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Bailey Rae's personal tragedy of losing her husband to a drug-related incident. How does this change her image? Can this be a lesson in how addiction can affect families?
Talk about love and how it's portrayed differently by different artists. Do you think some artists trivialize emotions and others are more sincere? Do some artists focus more on sex than love? How do you know if lyrics are appropriate?
Discuss Bailey Rae's unique retro sound. Do you prefer her jazzy vocals to those of other more pop-centered soul singers? Or, does this music sound more like something your parents would listen to? Can you and your parents like the same music, or are your tastes totally different?