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Corinne Bailey Rae: Black Rainbows

corinne bailey rae black rainbows album cover art

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Corinne Bailey Rae live at the Blue Note. It was a beautiful performance of her latest album, "Black Rainbows." As always, the tracks resonated with her personal spirit, but this time there was a unique sound that was incredibly welcoming. It was loud, proud, and filled with emotions—both high and low.

As expected, I enjoyed every piece, but it was the storytelling between sets that helped me appreciate every syllable. I emphasize "every syllable" because it's evident the care and intention that went into every word, melody, verse, and instrumentation. The composition was remarkable.

I fell in love with Corinne Bailey Rae's music the moment I heard "Like a Star" in 2005 and immediately envisioned my first daughter. Today, I call her my Star Girl as a personal ode to Rae's first single. Would you believe that at the end of her show, she surprised the audience with a performance of "Like a Star"? I was crying so much I couldn't even see the stage, but I felt her spirit.

I really enjoyed listening to "Black Rainbows" when it was released in September 2023 (my birth month). It was inspired by an exhibition on Black history at the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago and serves as an homage to her personal exploration of Black history, culture, and identity.

My favorite track? "New York Transit Queen," which was inspired by Audrey Smaltz, the first Black woman to compete for the Miss NYC pageant.


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