Life in KC

The Big Show: Corinne Bailey Rae @ Uptown Theater

Corinne Bailey Rae is coming to KC to promote her new album, “The Heart Speaks in Whispers.”
Corinne Bailey Rae is coming to KC to promote her new album, “The Heart Speaks in Whispers.” The Associated Press

8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $31 in advance.

More than 10 years after “Put Your Records On” made Corinne Bailey Rae a star, the enchanting song is still as refreshing as a cool breeze on a warm summer evening. The gentle ode about the restorative power of music embodies the British singer/songwriter’s sleek and soulful style.

Bailey Rae is touring in support of her third album, “The Heart Speaks in Whispers.” She may not work quickly, but her painstakingly deliberate artistic process has yielded admirably sophisticated sounds.

Inspired by the thoughtful folk of singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and the neo-soul of contemporaries such as the late Amy Winehouse, Bailey Rae creates hushed music that rewards attentive listening.

The muted approach makes her a rarity in a music scene that rewards brashness. She lacks Adele’s vocal range and shies away from the straightforward pop moves of John Legend, but Bailey Rae is no less capable than her more celebrated peers.

Bailey Rae’s music is informed by a dramatic range of life experiences. She earned a degree in English literature in 2000 and married musician Jason Rae in 2001, when she was 22. Seven years later, in 2008, Jason died of an accidental overdose, leaving Bailey Rae a widow before her 30th birthday.

Remarried in 2013, Bailey Rae infused “The Heart Speaks in Whispers” with elegantly sultry songs such as “Green Aphrodisiac,” which includes the lyric “Green like the leaves, I’m falling in love again.”

Two weeks before his untimely death, Prince, a longtime booster of Bailey Rae, took to Twitter to praise her song “Stop Where You Are.”

Knowing that the consummate tastemaker was keen to put Bailey Rae’s new record on, fans of exquisite pop shouldn’t hesitate to attend Tuesday’s show. Kansas City soul/pop singer Jessica Paige opens.

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