On a bitterly cold winter’s day, Adele’s voice is like the best, smoothest, richest hot chocolate to soothe the soul. 21 is an absolute triumph, overflowing with Motown inspired, doo-wop tracks and moving piano-led ballads.
This soulful album displays Adele’s superb voice perfectly with songs that only an artist of her calibre could pull off. She doesn’t ever feel the need to force her voice, or reach shouting point like some female artists – the highs and lows of her pitch are subtle yet powerful, and packed with emotion.
21 is a story of love, relationships, unrequited affection and heartbreak. These are songs that are made for a bottle of wine and a broken heart, yet Adele somehow gives credibility to what would otherwise be a soppy girly slow song, with tracks like Someone Like You and Take It All combining attitude with melancholy.
Rumour Has It is an upbeat 60s style track that would fare well as a single release and her cover of The Cure’s Lovesong is so sublime that Robert Smith himself couldn’t deny its merit. Many songs are practically a capella, simply with piano or guitar, a touch of strings and a voice that brings more depth and rawness than a symphony orchestra could ever convey.
Plenty (including yours truly) had dismissed and underestimated Adele, unfairly placing her in the same category as the recent wave of British female artists like Kate Nash, Lily Allen and Florence Welch. However Adele has a lot more to offer, and because of the classic universal charm of her music, has the potential to outlast a lot of her peers – her success in America confirms this, with two Grammys under her belt to date.
There is development and maturity both lyrically and musically since Adele’s first offering, 19, named after her tender age at the time. Now 22, this girl possesses a talent and charisma well beyond her years. Fast forward to the album called 40, and Adele may very well have taken over the world.
My rating out of five stars? 21 of course…