♫ Adele – Rolling in the Deep
When Adele first hit the scene with “Chasing Pavements” over three years ago, the comparisons quickly came between her and Amy Winehouse. Sure, they’re both English singers/songwriters; both won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist (Amy in 2008, Adele the following year); and their music has helped usher in a new soulful sound. But in a late 2008 interview, Adele was quick to point out, “We’re a gender, not a genre.”
Adele describes her musical style as “heartbroken soul”, which might seem a bit odd for someone approaching the ripe old age of 23, but listening to her debut, 19, is all the proof you need to see just how accurate that description is. Her second album, 21, hitting stores and online retailers in the U.S. and Canada today, follows suit.
The album opens with the bluesy lead single “Rolling in the Deep”, which was released late November and its video less than a week later prompting a countdown of sorts by yours truly. The track is the epitome of a lover scorned with powerful vocals and equally powerful lyrics (Throw your soul through every open door. Count your blessings to find what you look for. Turn my sorrow into treasured gold. You’ll pay me back in kind, and reap just what you’ve sown.) with Adele exclaiming, “We could have had it all!”
♫ Adele – Rumour Has It
The playful, upbeat Ryan Tedder co-written production of “Rumour Has It” continues the theme (She, she ain’t real. She ain’t gonna be able to love you like I will. She is a stranger. You and I have history, or don’t you remember?) with a nice little twist at the end. The selection order is sheer perfection with the haunting ballad “Turning Tables” followed by the heartfelt “Don’t You Remember”.
♫ Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
The album’s third single, “Set Fire to the Rain”, set to be released in a few weeks, is filled with frenzied instrumentation but should make for a great visual if done appropriately. “He Won’t Go” builds things up, while “Take It All” breaks it down with only piano accompaniment. Adele sings her heart out on the classic blues and soul-filled “One and Only”, which is sure to make make her idol, Etta James, proud.
♫ Adele – Someone Like You
“Someone Like You” brings the album to a close and is so moving and filled with so much emotion that it shows just how much soul Adele has and how she’s willing to bare it for all the world to see. 21 is a masterful follow-up to its predecessor, inciting excitement about the next album as Adele continues to grow as an artist and a woman.