Adele
21


3.5
great

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
January 29th, 2011 | 139 replies | 30,056 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Love is all you need. Apparently.

A week is a long time in politics and two years in the music industry nowadays can be akin to something Buck Rogers would have experienced. Since the release and subsequent peals of acclaim from critics and consumers alike of her debut LP 19 her contemporaries have fallen away. Amy Winehouse disappeared in a haze of smoke, Lily Allen took the money and ran whilst Kate Nash and Duffy dropped off the radar after two poorly received second albums. Adele has been given a clear runway and the chance to stake her claim as the UK’s leading solo female artist. Can the girl whose songs became the background music to myriad dinner parties allow the lightning to strike twice?

Adele has stuck to the numerical theme in the naming of her albums and delivered 21, an at times boisterous, intimate, soulful and rocking album. Its ability to switch between various styles is a testament to the talent already at her disposal and there is plenty to be excited about on this record. Showing an alarming sense of maturity far beyond her 22 years on this Earth, Adele has combined the best bits of Aretha Franklin’s old-school soul with Lauryn Hill’s sass and sense of cynical modern femininity. Not only that, but she has mixed them in a musical blender with the aid of an all-star cast of producers and boffins-for-hire that includes Rick Rubin, Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth.

Adele’s most powerful weapon is her faultless voice. It can veer from soft and achingly tender to an over the top but tuneful bellow. Opener “Rolling In The Deep” is a fine demonstration of her vocal abilities. The voice that belies her tender age takes a standard progression and kicks the song up to a different level. “Don’t underestimate the things I will do” she tells us, and it’s unclear whether that is a threat or a promise. The following track “Rumour Has It” is by far the best song on offer here. Pounding drums, sweet vocal harmonies and a tale of love both won and lost with some alacrity. Elsewhere there are similar lyrical admonishments to a former lover and words of warning to any of her potential new suitors. “Turning Tables” is a delicate ballad that possesses an astonishing beauty, “He Won’t Go” should get even the most miserable of music fans snapping their fingers and “Someone Like You”, an ode to stalking with a perverse attitude that lies underneath the fragile composition, looks set to become the soundtrack to a million messy break-ups. There’s even time for a smooth bossa nova cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong”, somehow adding another layer of maudlin introspection onto the lyrics of Mr. Sunshine himself, Robert Smith.

Throughout this LP, upon analysis of Adele’s words and attitudes, you can’t help but feel she herself is a high-maintenance kind of girl. It’s no wonder she keeps on getting dumped. Her seemingly advanced maturity works against her at times. For all of her posturing and ruminations on life, love and other such considerations, you may well ask yourself whether she is merely playing a part and recycling old themes or if she has the experience she so eloquently sings about.

It must be tough to be young and in love; sleepless nights, insecurity and all of those hormones flying around the place. It’s not like it is in the movies, is it? The Supremes said you can’t hurry it, but Adele has proved that you can certainly dwell on it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DoubtGin
January 29th 2011



6687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree. "Rumour Has It" is just amazing and the cover of "Lovesong" is sweet as well. I didn't really like "Take It All", though.

Great review.

Tyrael
January 29th 2011



20441 Comments


I really don't get why people like this patchwork of styles but good review.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2011



30316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Throughout this LP, upon analysis of Adele’s words and attitudes, you can’t help but feel she herself is a high-maintenance kind of girl. It’s no wonder she keeps on getting dumped.


Really don't know about that part

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2011



7012 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Second Deviant LOL. But the ending of the review is fantastic prose. Love its simple elegance.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Waior
January 29th 2011



11421 Comments


Really enjoy her music, this is no exception.

Nagrarok
January 29th 2011



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nicely handled, although our ratings are the same your take on the writing is quite different from mine. I admit Rumour Has It has grown on me although it's still far from my favourites on here.

jeremologyy
January 29th 2011



259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i actually really like this, but i think Rumour has It is one of the lesser songs. i think the ballads are where she shines the most (and ihave always thought this-- Crazy For You is my fav from the other record)

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2011



17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review

AtavanHalen
January 29th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rolling In The Deep is awesome. I'm going to get both of her albums today.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2011



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Joe. Looking forward to giving this a listen since 'RitD' is indeed really good.

TheStarclassicTreatment
January 29th 2011



2909 Comments


Someone Like You is such an incredible song.

Adele has a stellar voice and when this album is good, it's brilliant. But when the album is bad, it's awful.

Bitchfork
January 29th 2011



7584 Comments


this is actually really fucking good.

Oceanus
January 30th 2011



877 Comments


I liked her other album, should check this out. Good review.

sniper
January 30th 2011



18591 Comments


good review this seems like the kind of thing i won't check out.

dylantheairplane
January 30th 2011



2150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Set Fire To The Rain is quite awesome

jrowa001
January 30th 2011



8749 Comments


i got bored with 19. ive heard her first single off of this and i am not too intrigued to check the whole album out

STOP SHOUTING!
January 30th 2011



628 Comments


"Throughout this LP, upon analysis of Adele’s words and attitudes, you can’t help but feel she herself is a high-maintenance kind of girl. It’s no wonder she keeps on getting dumped."

Really don't know about that part


i like that bit.



Fuff24
January 30th 2011



1117 Comments


great review. This doesnt seem like something I'd be into though

NigelH
January 31st 2011



1571 Comments


Girl looks a lot better on that album cover than she does in person.

anocturnalday
January 31st 2011



18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good album. She has an amazing voice for sure, but I'm already getting bored of this album.



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