Corinne Bailey Rae - HSIW_cover

This Friday, Corinne Bailey Rae will release her much-awaited third studio album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers. Bailey Rae will join an already loaded May that’s seen new LPs from James Blake, Kaytranada, JMSN, and Chance the Rapper is rumored to drop HIS third project on Friday as well. But Corinne Bailey Rae’s is a lane all her own – light-voiced soul music that bears the heaviest of emotions. For those either unfamiliar with her talent or listeners skeptical of what Corinne’s cooking up, however, the singer gave NPR First Listen the greenlight to premiere an exclusive stream of the LP a week ahead of schedule.

NPR opted to premiere The Heart Speaks’s standard edition, which clocks in at twelve tracks deep (the LP’s deluxe edition has four additional songs); and though it’s just shy of an hour in runtime, it is quite the return for Corinne Bailey Rae. Propelled forward by lead singles “Been to the Moon” and “Green Aphrodisiac,” the album kicks off with the piano-driven, upbeat “The Skies Will Break” and traverses an array of sounds from there.

“Tell Me,” for example, is island-tinged and infectious. “Horse Print Dress” is a smooth-riding dalliance in disco-funk on which Corinne channels her inner Donna Summer. Corinne even dips her toe in neo-soul on the uplifting track eleven, “Walk On.” Bailey Rae, to her credit, gets all of the album’s early releases out of the way early in the album, so that what follows in the LP’s second-half is all new to listeners’ ears. So when “Do You Ever Think of Me?” lands, it’s as emotionally jarring as “Hey, I Won’t Break Your Heart” and somber yet soothing. And “Taken By Dreams” is all but an anthem to the dreamers and idealists of this world.

Stream Corinne Bailey Rae’s The Heart Speaks in Whispers album for yourself down below, by way of NPR. The Heart Speaks lands in stores and on digital outlets May 13th, though it can be pre-ordered now on iTunes.