Adele | 21 (Columbia)

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You can really feel the struggle she’s going through with the progression of her vocals as well as the intensity of the piano accompanying her brilliantly on this track.

 

 
 
Adele! Adele! Adele! She really did it this time. If you’ve ever had doubts about this British songstress, her second album, 21, will surely put all of those to rest. Adele comes with a fascinating, sometimes tumultuous story about loving a boy.
 
The first single off of the album “Rolling in the Deep,” highlights a relationship in which she could’ve had it all with a man, but he was more interested in playing games. She belts out, “The scars of your love, they leave me breathless/ I can’t help feeling we could’ve had it all.”
 
“Rumour Has It” makes my heart happy with its jazzy beats mixed with claps and snaps. It really makes you want to get into a girl group and perform like the Supremes, dance moves and all. Adele doesn’t disappoint with the conflicting ballad, “Turning Tables.” You can really feel the struggle she’s going through with the progression of her vocals as well as the intensity of the piano accompanying her brilliantly on this track.
 
The acoustic guitar soothes you into the emotionally charged “Don’t You Remember,” while the song takes a walk through the end of a past relationship, asking why it ended and if you’ll ever see him again; those questions we often wonder in the aftermath. The arrangement of the cymbals and drums keeps time as Adele admits she has “a fickle heart and a bitterness, and a wandering eye and heaviness,” in her head.
 
Adele does way more than set fire to the tracks “He Won’t Go” and “Set Fire to the Rain.” She shows her vocal ability and range in these proclamation songs, as I like to call them. She’s standing firm on a decision and has no regrets about it, no matter the consequences. 
 
Starting a cappella and belting out her questions to the man she loves, Adele really speaks deeply to the emotions that we’ve all felt when someone has taken us for granted on “Take It All.” She gives everything with this song, from the vocals to the lyrics. “Maybe I should leave,” she threatens, “to help you see nothing gets better than this, and this is everything we need.” The lyrics are filled with so much passion it is impossible not to be engulfed by them.
 
I commend Adele on many levels. Her approach on this album provides listeners with upbeat tracks that both declare our thoughts and allow us to feel vulnerable, all the while nodding our heads and tapping our feet. “I’ll Be Waiting” and “One and Only” are perfect examples of this display of variety, and stand as an homage to the soul music of Aretha Franklin. While amazing on her own, I would love to hear Adele on a duet or collaboration with other artists.
 
The final two tracks on the album, “Lovesong” and “Someone Like You,” conclude it perfectly. Adele covers The Cure and brings the track to life.
 
On this album there is a change of focus and pace. 21 focuses much more on the story of loving a boy, whereas Adele’s debut album, 19, focused on ending a relationship. On Adele’s live acoustic tracks you can really experience the depth of her amazingly soulful voice. This album truly resonates and provokes a full range of emotions, thoughts and experiences. A | Ashley White  

 

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