Saturday, February 12, 2011

21 (Adele) (Album Review)


If the divas of yesteryears like Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston are celebrated for their colorful glittery frocks, big long notes that they sing and the larger than life personalities, these diva new breeds such as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Duffy and Adele should be noted for their eccentric style, non-conformist lifestyles, edgy vocals and devil-may-care attitude. One prominent new generation diva, Adele’s second album “21” is a real gem. It is in fact far better than her debut “19”. Here’s the simple reason why you should buy this album, her killer vocals and her brilliant song writing. This two-time Grammy winner possesses the bluesy edge of Etta James and the soulfulness of Aretha Franklin. On this album, she deals with the issues of love mainly about “falling in love” and “losing the love”, co-writing 11 out of the album’s 13 tracks. Of course she sings about LOVE understandably for she is 21. That’s what the 20s are for, no?  From start to finish, the album has cohesion and a nice flow. Her smoky vocals soar on “Set fire to the rain” and she talks about the aftermath of a heartbreak on the soul-bearing “Take it all”, both equally impressive. Most of the tracks are either piano driven or acoustic heavy with influences of country, rock n’ roll and blues music genres.  “Love song” boasts such simple lyrics and it reminds us listeners why less is absolutely more. 
She sings However far away I will always love you 
                However long I stay I will always love you 
                Whatever words I say I will always love you
Her delivery is heartfelt and touching. The first single, the break-up anthem “Rolling in the deep” has an infectious chorus that won’t leave your head for weeks. To be honest I’m humming it right now. I just can’t get it out of my head.
“We could have had it all, 
(You're gonna wish you never had met me), 
Rolling in the deep, 
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep), 
You had my heart inside of your hands, 
(You're gonna wish you never had met me), 
And you played it to the beat, 
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)”
It’s so refreshing to see someone who has a unique quality of voice and is also able to write songs with lyrical depth. Her considerably-improved vocals and her poetic libretto are fully displayed on songs like “Turning Tables”, “Someone like you” and “Don’t you remember”, three of my favorite songs. And I believe “Rumor has it” could do well as a single. It’s upbeat and has this 60’s rock and roll vibe. It’s totally old school without sounding old. This song will surprise music fans and critics around the world just like the way Amy Winehouse’s Rehab did a few years back. This album will and should sell because of one simple reason, GOOD MUSIC. It’s about time we embrace an artist for her talent and craft not for her publicity stunts and commercial mainstream efforts. This album like its title “21” will make you want to become 21 all over again  celebrating the joy of love and the pain of heartbreaks. Brava, Adele!

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