AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Adele - 21 Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9
Production 9
Creativity 9.5
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 92%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.69
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.97
Production 8.16
Creativity 8.03
Lasting Value 8.31
Reviewer Tilt 8.41
Average: 83%
Inside AP.net

Adele - 21

Reviewed by: Ian Walker (04/08/11)
Adele - 21
Record Label: XL Recordings
Release Date: January 19, 2011

It seems like nowadays anyone with a decent voice and enough money to pay someone to write them a hook and record it has a good chance of having a hit single. Today's pop music scene continues to be the biggest joke in the music industry, as artists are continually produced out of thin air and discarded just as fast as they came. For the most part creativity has taken a backseat to popularity. Fortunately, that isn't always the case. British singer-songwriter Adele Adkins is one of those bright buoys in the sea of mediocrity. She exploded onto the scene with her debut album 19, a soulful whirlwind of retro-pop hits that earned her four Grammy nominations. Now, two years later and two years older, Adele has once again crafted a pop masterpiece in her sophomore record 21.

The album opens strong with “Rolling in the Deep,” the first of 21's many hit singles. Adele's powerful voice is introduced with a soft acoustic accompaniment, quickly joined by a pounding bass drum that forms the backbone of the entire song. Her vocals throughout the verses are incredible, but they don't begin to compare to the unrestricted emotion Adele showcases in the almost mournful chorus. Backing vocals lend a very soulful atmosphere to the already retro song structure but, much like the rest of the album, Adele's sensual vocal stylings take center stage and fail to disappoint.

The next track, “Rumor Has It,” is another percussion-driven jazz number that details the complexity that would obviously come with being a part of multiple love triangles. Adele is equal parts demeaning and seductive, flitting between emotional poles with an impressive elegance that's all too rare in today's music scene. The track even offers a short preview of the next in the form of a stripped-down piano bridge, where Adele's vocals carry a twinge of sweetness before being rushed away by the infectious chorus once more.

“Turning Tables” takes the piano melodies previewed in the last track and runs with them. Adele crafts in this song a heartbroken yet hopeful ambience, with help from a light string ensemble that provides a great foundation for the song without overpowering the vocals or keys. “Turning Tables” contains some of the album's greatest vocal moments, further cementing Adele's reputation as a competent vocalist showing no signs of stopping.

While 21 is a bit top-heavy, the later tracks aren't slouches. “I'll Be Waiting” is a bouncy pop song that combines the best of Adele's soulful conventions and more modern songwriting. While most of the album carries an air of heartbreak, “I'll Be Waiting” sees the hope that can come even when a relationship has fallen apart. “He Won't Go” strays into the realm of rhythm and blues, a genre lesser artists often don't respect enough when trying their hand at it. Adele's own sensibilities, however, combine wonderfully, creating a track that's catchy while still carrying that intangible quality that makes R&B such a respected style. Later on, she once again tries her hand at covering classics of the past with her rendition of The Cure's “Lovesong.” Her unique blend of tender and passionate vocals work well with the stripped down version of the song she's crafted, using acoustic guitars, simple percussion, and the same subdued string complement found in the rest of the album to really make the song her own.

From beginning to end, 21 is a refreshing take on a modern pop album. Adele remains confident alongside the album's most heartbroken lyrics, providing an emotional range that really makes this album shine. While it fails to fully ride the tidal wave created by its first half, 21 is a collection of beautifully concocted anthems that combine Adele's retro-soul philosophy with a present-day attitude that few pop acts will be able to follow. Bring on 23.

Track Listing1. Rolling in the Deep
2. Rumor Has It
3. Turning Tables
4. Don't You Remember
5. Set Fire to the Rain
6. He Won't Go
7. Take It All
8. Ill Be Waiting
9. One & Only
10. Lovesong
11. Someone Like You


Official Website | "Rolling in the Deep" Music Video
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 39
08:12 PM on 04/08/11
#2
bNz719
Know more.
Offline
User Info.
bNz719's Avatar
Great review on a fantastic album! 'Someone Like You' remains my favorite track.
08:21 PM on 04/08/11
#3
Goat01
No Retreat, No Regrets.
Offline
User Info.
Goat01's Avatar
Adele is brilliant.
"Rumour Has It" is amazing, so is this entire record.
08:31 PM on 04/08/11
#4
bandnamexmyname
&^%^&
Offline
User Info.
bandnamexmyname's Avatar
Such a good record.
08:39 PM on 04/08/11
#5
Spenny
Hearts without chains.
Offline
User Info.
Spenny's Avatar
Good review. Album of the Year so far for me.

EDIT: But how come 'Someone Like You' got no mention? Absolutely stunning ending to a fantastic album.
08:55 PM on 04/08/11
#6
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
Offline
User Info.
Jeff_Ryan's Avatar
I love her so much. 21 is my #2 for this year so far, after Tomboy
09:30 PM on 04/08/11
#7
tell that mick
@mickrouse
Offline
User Info.
tell that mick's Avatar
Aoty
10:46 PM on 04/08/11
#8
KatastrophiE
idiot savant
Offline
User Info.
KatastrophiE's Avatar
I dont find her sexually attractive. She has a beautiful voice; great control, tone and melody, not to mention her lyrics are awesome. She just needs to be more sexually attractive.
10:47 PM on 04/08/11
#9
The Minn
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
The Minn's Avatar
Great score but I would give it a 96..it is seriously a great fucking record. Vocals 9.5? should be a 10
10:47 PM on 04/08/11
The Minn
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
The Minn's Avatar
Great review on a fantastic album! 'Someone Like You' remains my favorite track.
live version > recorded version
10:47 PM on 04/08/11
Ian Walker
wes craven with x cravings.
Offline
User Info.
Ian Walker's Avatar
I dont find her sexually attractive. She has a beautiful voice; great control, tone and melody, not to mention her lyrics are awesome. She just needs to be more sexually attractive.
Good thing she's a musician and not a model.
10:48 PM on 04/08/11
The Minn
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
The Minn's Avatar
I dont find her sexually attractive. She has a beautiful voice; great control, tone and melody, not to mention her lyrics are awesome. She just needs to be more sexually attractive.
you're an idiot
11:41 PM on 04/08/11
sargentlgfuad
Glass boy
Offline
User Info.
sargentlgfuad's Avatar
absolute love.
01:54 AM on 04/09/11
KatastrophiE
idiot savant
Offline
User Info.
KatastrophiE's Avatar
and you're gay for your retarded cousin
02:12 AM on 04/09/11
bencoles
twitter.com/bencoles_
Offline
User Info.
bencoles's Avatar
She just needs to be more sexually attractive.
Why? Explain.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm