Adele – 21

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End of exams and the release of Adele’s much anticipated album 21 means this week has been especially good for me. The first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics’ Choice which has since been given to the likes of Ellie Goulding and Jessie J, Adele is a multi-Grammy Awards nominee whose work never disappoints. After a year away from the UK charts to work on new material she is set for dazzling success on both sides of the Atlantic.

With songs from her debut album 19 which reached number one still stubbornly remaining in the charts, 21 looks as though it’s headed the same way. Her instantly recognisable powerful vocals and carefully crafted lyrics of this soul singer are a world apart from the manufactured tunes which continue to clog the charts. The release of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ from the album earlier in January which she sang at the Royal Variety performance, was beaten to the top by Bruno Mars’ generic love song ‘Grenade’ in this week’s chart- but it is surely going to stay in the top five for a while. The song was described by Adele as a “dark bluesy gospel disco tune” showing how her work does not fit into a generic category and filled with so much emotion and honesty it is a refreshing change. Her BBC live lounge performance on Thursday 27 January support this, as both herself and the lucky studio audience were in tears by the end of her six piece acoustic set which was very moving. To put it simply, 21 is stunning.

Although hard to choose favourites in her coherent album, two songs particularly struck me. ‘Rumour has it’ is a Sixties inspired song which will have your legs tapping under the desk to the upbeat tune and humming on the way to bus stop. In contrast, ‘Someone like you’ is a daydreaming beauty of a song, like ‘Make you feel my love’ once was before it became overplayed on radios and at weddings; it is calming, loving and tender. The album is a whirlwind of feelings and can happily be put on repeat because it gets better with each listen. I wish Adele’s down to earth character and critically acclaimed voice every success she deserves. Buy it now. 9/10

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