Corinne Bailey Rae The Love

Corinne Bailey Rae has taken some time off from her busy schedule of collecting awards and nominations across the Atlantic to bring us an EP as challenging as we've come to expect from her, and a rare one that makes you wish it was twice as long. Frontloading with "I Wanna Be Your Lover," a song equal parts James Brown and Sixteen Candles, Rae dials up the '80s kitsch over knockout vocals. As usual, when she purrs, "I wanna be the only one that makes you come running" (with a timely pause), you believe her. The cotton candy synth, to its credit, never crosses over to grating, instead opting to use the forces of evil for good. "Low Red Moon" shifts gears violently, channelling Polly Jean instead of Paula Abdul. A meaty guitar sound trades limelight places with keys briefly, making a harsh statement before the silk smooth R&B of "Is This Love." It's a compelling track and is followed by "My Love," which is less so. The Love EP wraps up with a stunning, freewheeling collaborative live cut of favourite "Que Sera Sera," concluding the short album with another sea change in sound, cementing it as one of the young year's most memorable. (Capitol)