Adele - 19Thursday 05 Jun 2008
Label: XL Recordings
Duration: 40 minutes
Flushing aside the myriad of female singer-songwriters on the market at the moment, Adele could be something special. As it stands she enters the marketplace searching for the element of uniqueness among the saturation and therefore seems to have more to prove. Her debut album '19' goes a long way towards stamping her musical talent on the public awareness.
From the outset we can feel a gutsy, angst-ridden vibe from the young singer, infusing her music with a brash, funky kind of girl power (for want of a better phrase), built around the strength of the female voice - gravelly and coarse, therefore setting her in a different bracket to the aforementioned plethora of female talent currently championing the charts.
While her debut chart-topping single 'Chasing Pavements' is a great catchy pop song, it is on the more simplistic and bare tracks that Adele's vocal range is really evident. The teenage singer works a range of music styles here from the blues-inflections of 'Crazy for You' to the stripped-back 'First Love', creating a sound that is mature and soulful.
What is refreshing is that Adele isn't afraid to present her raw voice, exposed - without instrumentals clouding the sound. The result is plenty of stripped-back material, that is reliant on the natural strength of her voice to carry the stories she tells in her songs.
If you're now thinking that '19' sounds like a whine-fest then have a listen to the brighter and bolder tracks like 'Right As Rain' and 'Cold Shoulder' before making a judgement. Filled with big beats, they offer a fresh vibe before the album has a chance to become tired.
She has Mark Ronson's stamp of approval, she has a sound that is far older than her 19 years and she isn't afraid to speak her mind - Adele has the potential to go far and she certainly seems to have her head screwed on in terms of the fame game. We can probably expect much more creative material from her as 19 becomes 20-something.
Tracklisting: Daydreamer - Best for Last - Chasing Pavements - Cold Shoulder - Crazy For You - Melt My Heart To Stone - First Love - Right As Rain - Make You Feel My Love - My Same - Tired - Hometown Glory