EMI - 2006 - 45 minutes

The hype machine overheated on many occasions when praising newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae, including comparisons to Billie Holliday and the expectation that her debut would be something of a classic. Not so - while Bailey Rae has a beguiling voice, sales of this album will, Dido-like, far outstrip its quality.

The best song here turns out to be the one which drew many to Bailey Rae in the first place, opener 'Like a Star'. Tellingly, it's also the one track which the 26-year-old wrote solely by herself and raises the argument that perhaps some more faith in her ability to go it alone would have resulted in a more interesting record.

While 'Put Your Records On' is classy pop, far too often the rest of the tracks here are interchangeable with countless other slick soul albums - driven by a great single and surrounded by the pleasantly passable. Too glossy and obvious, when grit and adventure were the way to go.

An album that will prove inescapable and yet another textbook example of predictability triumphing over promise.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Like A Star - Enchantment - Put Your Records On - 'Till It Happens to You - Trouble Sleeping - Call Me When You Get This - Choux Pastry Heart - Breathless - I'd Like To - Butterfly - Seasons Change