Corinne Bailey Rae: universal praise for 'Black Rainbows', her brand new album

photo credit: Koto Bolofo


Wilful Publicity

“Astonishingly visceral… music that veers thrillingly between jazz, soul, electronica, metal, punk and balladry… At every turn Bailey Rae sounds both humble and unshakeable. God, this is great.” 5/5, Sunday Times Culture - Album Of The Week

Black Rainbows, the incredible new album from award-winning singer / songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae was released on Friday to worldwide acclaim. Reviewers have been hailing it as Bailey Rae’s career-best work and have embraced the eclectic, genre-bending album as indisputably one of the finest albums of 2023.

Following the previously released tracks ‘New York Transit Queen’, ‘Peach Velvet Sky’ and ‘Erasure’, a fourth focus track from the album, ‘Red Horse’, is out now. A gorgeous, dreamlike song, the New York Times describe it as an album highlight stating, “In the shimmering, billowing ‘Red Horse,’ she envisions romance, marriage and family.”


“The different musical styles are what makes Black Rainbows a revelation. [It] is the album of Rae’s career” 5/5 - The Sun

“She’s pressed her own refresh button extremely hard and the results are remarkable… sprinting away from her cosy early sound in numerous different directions… It’s extraordinary” 5/5 - Evening Standard

“Black Rainbows is stunning… These 10 songs comprise a work of art standing strong in its own right. Important? Yes, but above all this album is wild as hell” 5/5 - Classic Pop

“Black Rainbows magnificently roars around garage rock, jazz and even, on ‘Erasure’, Black Flag hardcore… It’ll continue to uncover fresh layers of magic for years, while being enticing from the off” 5/5 - Record Collector

“The project speaks of a musician connecting with her culture and heritage on a deeper level, immersing herself in the pages of history and translating centuries of experiences into music for what will unquestionably become a defining album in her career”
5/5 - Retropop

“An incredible comeback, Corinne returns as an intense punk, rampaging metaller and inventive jazzer. [It] sounds like she’s communing with Prince” 5/5 - Daily Star

“Best known for her soulful intensity, Corinne dips into punk, metal and jazz”
5/5 - Sunday Mirror

“’Red Horse’ is a reminder she can still conjure the silky ballads. Guitar freakout ‘Erasure’ and ‘Before The Throne Of The Invisible God’… show her reaching for the stars”
5/5 – Sunday Express

“​​Flitting from searing punk noise to astral gliding electronica to afro futurist R&B… Black Rainbows is a truly astonishing record, a revelation. Corinne Bailey Rae comes of age on one of 2023's most remarkable, must-hear albums” 4.5/5 - Louder

“From psychedelic soul to raucous rock, this big, sprawling album bounces between genres and flies off in directions you’d never expect… Without a doubt, it is the best album of Bailey Rae’s career, and quite probably one of the albums of 2023 as well”
4.5/5 - Music OMH

“Grunge! Experimental jazz! Glam-punk!... Corinne Bailey Rae has thrown the musical curveball of the year” 4/5, NME

“The music, which is characterised by extraordinary switches in style [morphs] from sleepy electronica and futuristic R&B to churning grunge rock… but most impressive of all is ‘Before The Throne Of The Invisible God’, a stunning celestial soundscape” 4/5 - Mojo

“Black Rainbows has a different energy from its predecessors, a rip-it-up-and-start-again recklessness. The gentle jazz elements in her music now have an untamed psychedelic edge… A new chapter has opened” 4/5 - Financial Times

“Most tracks represent a rewiring along modernist lines with electronic textures and jazz flourishes… an inspired left turn” 8/10 - Uncut

“She has done it again on her new album, the brilliant, genre-hopping Black Rainbows [which] features noisy riot grrl punk tracks, jazz… and electronica that grew out of ideas of Afrofuturism, whose psychedelic experimentation felt like freedom” - The i Newspaper

“Bravely fluctuating between punk-influenced songs, ambient electronica, and rich, textual ballads, Rae moves beyond the constraints of genre and dissolves any preconceived notions about what she is capable of, or what her music should sound like” - Vogue

“A stew of genres spiced up with jazz, electro, rock and prog-soul” - Daily Mirror

“An ambitious concept piece seven years in the making… Black Rainbows is a joy” -
Daily Mail

“Rae takes a liberal approach when expressing her creative freedoms: she experiments with genres, themes, and ideas … taking listeners on an emotional rollercoaster… This album was not created to fit into a world of TikTok-friendly, easily consumed hooks. It was created by a versatile artist allowing herself to display a wide range of musical talent.” - The Independent

“Black Rainbows is sonically very different. The songs are impressively wide-ranging [and] the record seems like her most political to date” - New Statesman

“Her fine new album is a diverse but coherent collection that jumps from unlikely genre to unlikely genre throughout… there are hypnotic chants, trippy electronica, off-kilter jazz and some seriously noisy punk” - The Arts Desk

“Unlike anything else she’s ever done… on Black Rainbows you’ll find Ultravox-ish eighties pop, eerie haunting jazz, metallic punk rock, punk-pop and European electronic oddities, lilting love and sexy, lounge ballads” - Echoes

“Black Rainbows is a spellbinding journey for both Bailey Rae and the listener, with both exploring new heights and their inner self. A musical reinvention like no other” –
The Vinyl Factory

In conjunction with the album’s release, a book, REFLECTIONS/REFRACTIONS AT THE STONY ISLAND ARTS BANK photographed by Koto Bolofo, is also out now. Order/share here.

Corinne Bailey Rae is currently on tour in the USA with European shows starting next month. Tickets here:

Black Rainbows Live – UK & Europe

October 25—London, U.K.—Ladbroke Hall
October 26—London, U.K.—Ladbroke Hall
October 28—London, U.K.—Ladbroke Hall
October 29—Cork, Ireland—Guinness Cork Jazz Festival
October 31—Madrid, Spain—Teatro Pavón
November 1—Barcelona, Spain—Studio P62
November 3—Seville, Spain—Cartuja Centre
November 4—Lisbon, Portugal—Capitolio
November 5—Porto, Portugal—Casa de Musica
November 8—Amsterdam, Holland—Paradiso Noord
November 9—Rotterdam, Holland—LantarenVenster

September 19, 2023 3:00am ET by Pressparty  


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