Fans of singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae generally have to wait a while between records (her 2006 debut wasn’t followed up until 2010), so even a five-song EP like “The Love EP” is welcome news. Granted, the tracks are all covers, but at least they follow a common theme: love songs (or at least songs that feature the word “love” in the title).
The collection is a mixed bag. The first two tracks, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (originally by Prince) and “Low Red Moon” (originally by Belly), are almost too dead on the originals to be worth it. An electric keyboard gives “Lover” a disco vibe and Bailey Rae (a guitarist as well) plays a heavier rock riff for “Moon,” which was initially a rock song. The only real difference from the originals is Bailey Rae’s vocals, which are delightfully smooth on the ears.
Her cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” is not reggae-tinged at all, however. She takes an R&B approach to the song, and she slows down her cover of Paul McCartney’s “My Love” to separate it from its namesake. The tracks are undeniably different, but whether that difference makes the tracks worth listening to, or better than the originals, is debatable.
Surprisingly, Bailey Rae takes an optimistic approach to the theme of love, considering the death of her husband, jazz musician Jason Rae, in 2008. Only the final track, “Que Sera, Sera (What Will Be Will Be)” hints at her loss.
Even if the covers aren’t drastically different from the originals, they are still worth a listen. Bailey Rae might play it safe, but at least she doesn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities. With an enchanting voice like hers, everything has the potential to make a good cover. Plus, who knows the next time she’ll release something?