One of the most hyped album of the year, receiving multiple top 10′s here and there and being touted as the next big thing, Adele – 21 is an inspired collection of songs that merits a good listen. I tend to be the first one to admit when someone impresses me, but that isn’t the case here. As a singer Adele is a pretty good one, but misses the mark with uniqueness and voice range. What did impress me is the way she sings, he uses every tool in her arsenal to give us inspired performance after inspired performance, often leaving you in awe with the expressiveness of her interpretation. Being a composer is also a big plus, as she puts all her heart to the chants of her own feelings. I’ll go now and give my brief opinion of each song.
1.-Rolling in the Deep: I have to admit i’m not a big fan of this song, I think it’s a pretty commercial attempt at showing off her talents to the masses. I’m alright with that but it doesn’t mean I have to praise it. It’s probably the weakest song of the album. It’s still a cool song, and I can understand why people like it, its catchy and singable.
2.-Rumor Has It: This song reminds me of Cristina Aguilera, very girlish and challenge driven song. A good rhythm and a catchy melody title gives it a good thumbs up from me.
3.-Turning Tables: Feeling is what this song is about. Here is where Adele starts shinning in this album. Up to this point, the previous two songs didn’t impress me, but this one sets the tone for the rest of the album. To me this is where the album starts. The harmonic tones and accentuation’s before the chorus are fabulous and she takes advantage of these moments to really shine.
4.-Don’t you remember: A vintage love song. Starts out sweet enough to make you think it will lead you another way, mostly because of the lack of reverb on the voice, and the austere sounds. But once it gets rolling it quickly reminds me how difficult it is to make a song this simple. It will transcend the test of time to become one of the love songs of this generation. A song perfect for a movie, isn’t it?
5.-Set fire to the Rain: Another piano intro, i’m ok with that. Adele’s voice really shines with the way the melody imposes upon the piano. The bridge before the chorus is beautiful and again, Adele’s interpretation up’s it a notch above how it would have sounded with anyone else. She just makes you remember that a melody can be good, but it excels when a true virtuoso plays it. Of course, with feeling.
6.-He won’t go: Ok. Too much piano. But let’s take it as an individual song. It kind of reminds me of Sade with the groovy bass line, and then it goes to some Jamiroquai with the chorus where Adele again puts her voice to the test showing us once more how she can up the ante in any song.
7.-Take it All: Another classic ballad. She is perfect for this kind of music and she knows it. Rarely do we hear this perfect combination of singing in the ideal style. How bout that choir in the background? It would come in as cheesy in any other song but it just works in this one, telling you how much work the producers took and how much care for each of the songs in this album.
8.-I’ll be waiting: A welcome change of pace, I’ll be waiting is a song that has a sort of catchy rhythm that keeps you on the edge of your toes. Again, it has a beautiful bridge that connects the first verse with the chorus, which again features a good enough line to make Adele’s voice shine. In no song does she sound more like Cristina Aguilera than in this one, but classier. Another nice song to an already good album.
9.- One and Only: Jazzy, classic, beautiful and in favor of her voice, One And Only is probably one of the best songs in the album. Its still the same formula of the rest of the CD, but hey, that’s the way this album is, and it just works. As I said multiple times in this review, great care was taken in making Adele’s voice the main instrument in the album, making her use all of her tools to express feelings in a way no one may have done in all releases in 2011. It’s a pretty straight forward song, but it gives you what it’s supposed to, and that is pure honey for the ears.
10.-Lovesong: Just beautiful, another of my favorites. A guitar as an intro is good, proving that Adele’s voice also sounds pretty good with this instrument. Her voice seems so intimate in this melody, specially with the lyrics she is uttering. “Whenever i’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am whole again”, these lyrics are sung in a way that just screams intimacy. As straight forward as the title is, it just makes so much sense with how the song is sung, the lyrics are also simplistic, but that’s what love is all about anyways isn’t it? Love is a simple feeling that gets complex when we try to figure it out. This song reminds us of the pure joy of just loving.
11.-Someone like you: By this point the pianist is sounding a little bit repetitive, but still what we always end up listening to is Adele’s voice, and again she becomes the protagonist of the song. Beautiful and meaningful lyrics adorn the melody, even if harmonically it lacks pizzazz. Its still about the melodic line, and I can honestly say that the chorus is very nice, specially at the end when she is picking her spots to raise her voice evoking her inner feelings and exposing them to the listener in the liveliest of ways possible.
12.-I found a boy: Love this song. I can’t imagine a better way of singing this kind of lyrics than the way this woman is doing it in this song. Love the clean electric guitar making another beautiful song so intimate that it just begs to be played in an unplugged manner one day. This is the kind of song that keeps me interested until the end of it, not repeating many parts, and when she does, she does it in new ways, making you keep waiting for the next part.
All in all, Adele has created an awesome album that will remain in the hearts of many for years to come. There’s at least two or three classics here. Songs that will beat father time and move on to become all time favorites. I’m just very impressed with the quality and care given to this collection. It’s nice to hear a young artist perform at this level and in this kind of music, it gives us hope in the future of pop music. Maybe it’s just me, but all we hear in music today is Party Party Party and He/She left me. There aren’t many other themes to talk about in popular music. Adele makes a romantic album as good as it can be, utilizing exquisit harmonic and melodic passages that truly outshine most efforts this year.