Corinne Bailey Rae

Live shot

Phases & Stages
Photo By Gary Miller

Corinne Bailey Rae

Antone's, Aug. 14

It's hard not to be entranced by Corinne Bailey Rae. Her return to Austin follows a pair of virtually unnoticed showcases at this year's SXSW, which came several months before the stateside release of her self-titled debut album, a disc that skyrocketed to the top of the UK charts last year. This time around, Rae found a sold-out house at Antone's, many in the audience now familiar with her and her songs. She didn't disappoint them with a short but sweet hourlong set that covered more than half of the songs on the album. Backed by a tight fourpiece band and two backup singers, Rae was modest and unpretentious as she sometimes strummed an acoustic guitar and effortlessly embodied youthful charm and soulful grace. Her music is unabashedly pop with a distinctive Seventies soul flavor and lyrics that capture the spirit of young love. Album tracks "Trouble Sleeping," "Breathless," and "Till It Happens to You" came early in the set. A controlled reading of Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" loosened everyone up a bit. Rae followed it with a gorgeous acoustic rendition of the album's opening tune, "Like a Star," which all but hushed the part of the crowd that wasn't singing along softly. That didn't last long as she pulled out her infectious "hit" single, "Put Your Records On." The funky "I'd Like To" closed the set, Rae returning upon demand to encore with the Stevie Wonder-influenced "Seasons Change," the tune that ends the album. If this show was any indication, Corinne Bailey Rae has a bright future ahead of her.

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