We do seem to be liking a surprising amount of stuff this year, innit?…
W.B. Swygart: Between 6.30 and 8.15a.m. – best time of the day. World feels alive, full of possibility, but most importantly it seems as though no other bugger is alive. Sun plays in the trees at the bus stop, clouds float off to Armley, the train you could have got if you’d got up early enough (but why would you want to do that?) rumbles over the bridge. Everything is light and fluffy and quiet. The world runs at your pace. Buying breakfast feels like an art, an act of confidence, power and brilliance on your part. And this song, or something like it, in your ears; several words you can’t make out in the verses, moving forward quickly because it’s fun rather than necessary, Corinne’s little sizzles, sneaks and wisps floating and pivoting along on top. Not sure what it’s about; not sure I care.
Ian Mathers: I’m not saying that I expect or want Bailey Rae to wallow in misery, but after “I’d Do It All Again” this is a bit of a damp squib, isn’t it? An ingratiating and smoothly accomplished damp squib, but nonetheless…
Michaelangelo Matos: I’m delighted this is the new single: It’s easily the most engaging thing on the album, and hence the most engaging thing she’s ever put her name on. The key: pretend it’s Saint Etienne. Rae is coyer than Sarah Cracknell as a vocalist (not as a self-presenter), but it’s a good match with this crisp retro-London pop.
Martin Skidmore: This started like another slick jazzy slow number, but it livens up a lot on the chorus – probably not as catchy as “Put Your Records On”, but I can see it being her biggest since then.
Erick Bieritz: Remember when Steely Dan made a whole career out of playing jazzy pop without being boring? No one does that anymore, it’s really difficult. Corinne Bailey Rae takes a pretty good swat at it, probably because she stumbled on jazz only as an adult after long exposure to rock music (the opposite of a score of boring fusion backgrounds). “Paris Nights” is “Peg”-like (maybe moreso by way of Nerina Pallot’s cover, but still), and that twisting nuanced buildup to the chorus in particular reminds me of the descending/concluding two lines of “Peg’s” chorus.
Rodney J. Greene: I can’t say I don’t enjoy square-behind, Bacharach-styled bossa, swinging gently, swinging momentously as most appropriate, even if Bailey Rae’s Dionne Warwick is a bit more Norah Jones.
Alfred Soto: Her cutie pie voice can grate, but I can see the smirk beneath the smile; after all, British and European bands usually specialize in wry continental romance. The first thing this reminded me of was The Cardigans, down to the rhythmic shifts.