Thursday, June 2, 2011

Just sayin': Adele

As I've said before, I'm a big fan of girly pop and for the last week I've been quite enamoured by Adele's record 21. Nothing pleases me more that her album is doing so well. While there are some lamearse songs on her album (mainly fluffy ballads that are sub-Beyonce/Christina strings and piano by rote), the best songs here are fierce assertions of female empowerment that embrace soul, blues and funk. Rolling in the Deep is a revenge fantasy with real malice - "Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your shit bare" is not really Katy Perry territory.

My favourite song, Rumour has it, is all soulful backing vocals, driving drums and handclaps with the chorus kiss off of "rumour has it he's the one I'm leaving you for..." What cuts above it all is Adele's voice - the thing is force of nature that recalls the classic 60's English pop singers - Dusty Springfield mainly but that's a pretty easy comparison to make. That Adele has struck a chord with this music which is so reminiscent of the music my Mum used to play when I was a kid makes me oddly happy. What makes me happier is that in a pretty sterile world of pop, this music has a bit of grit to it.

While I like the upbeat songs the most, there are some beautiful ballads here namely Turning Tables and Someone Like You. It's a shame she couldn't sustain the quality across the entire album (there's a really cheesy elevator version of the Cure's Lovesong - wrong on so many levels) but if you like a dose of quality pop, you could do far worse than this.


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