Words by Tom Frodsham.

Soul songbird Corinne Bailey Rae is set to return to Manchester next month following the success of her comeback album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers.

Rae has had something to prove with her latest release. After taking nearly six years to follow up her second studio album, The Sea, which was nominated for the Mercury prize, she’s returned with a funkier sound. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like she’s come back sounding like an early 80s Diana Ross, but she’s pushed the record in a groovier direction. It’s a good result, working well alongside revisits to her signature light, soulful tracks.

Given that Rae will be performing at the Albert Hall, it’ll be interesting to see if her delicately sweet voice will be able to fill such an open space.

Check out tracks like ‘The Skies Will Break’ and ‘Tell Me’ from the new album, while remembering oldie-but-goodies like ‘Put Your Records On’. The show has all the ingredients to showcase Rae’s widened repertoire of delightfully charming hits.

Supporting Rae on the tour is relative newcomer Jodie Abacus. Soulful and joyful, listening to Abacus’ music is like listening to the lovechild of John Legend and Elton John (if such thing was ever possible). You’d be a robot if you didn’t bop along to his feel-good tracks, especially ‘I’ll Be That Friend’. He’ll no doubt get the audience suitably warmed up for Rae’s big night.

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Corinne Bailey Rae plays at Albert Hall on Saturday 5 November, 2016.

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