19 is the Grammy Award-winning debut album from British singer/songwriter Adele. Citing influences as diverse as Etta James, Jill Scott, Bjork, Dusty Springfield, Billy Bragg, Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, The Cure and Peggy Lee, Adele is a truly unique new artist. With her mix up of R&B and soul served up with a healthy dash of feisty London attitude, she spins beautiful dark stories of loves won and lost and sometimes just daydreamed about. Features the classic tracks Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory as well as a cover of Bob Dylan s Make You Feel My Love.
There's no disputing the gifts of Tottenham-born Adele Adkins, the latest BRIT graduate to stroll into the charts. As we know from her single Chasing Pavements, she has a sensational voice: rich, robust, voluptuously bluesy.Is she the new Amy Winehouse?It is not quite right.True, both are white girls who owe a debt to black soul, both sing with a London twang ("I don't get nuffin' back," rasps Adele on the punchy "Tired"), and both are in pieces because their man done them wrong.Eleven of the 12 songs on Adele's debut are about heartbreak (the other, "Hometown Glory", is about how cool London is).Adele, though, is easier to listen to than Winehouse. Her music is cleaner, less menacing: there's the bright acoustic-guitar chime of "Daydreamer", the lullaby twinkle of "First Love", the plush strings of "Melt My Heart to Stone".Her mesmerising singing tone, honest lyrics, jazz and soul influences, and brash Cockney speaking accent, echo Amy. But Adele's delivery is far more delicate.Lyrically she's simpler, too, occasionally even soppy: "When there's no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years," she gushes on "Make You Feel My Love".Where Back to Black sounded emotionally and musically true, almost everything on the covers-all-bases "19" sounds like it was absorbed by osmosis at the London's BRIT School for Performing Arts (where she, Katie Melua, Leona Lewis, Kate Nash and Winehouse are alumni).Some will find Adele rigidly old-fashioned. Her influences (Etta James, Dusty Springfield, Billie Holiday) are from another age.A cursory listen may lead you to conclude that Adele has a voice way in excess of her years. In terms of technical ability, that's true.The instrumentation seems designed to usher you to that conclusion: a dash of jazz bass, the odd string arrangement that seems to take its cue from Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy"."Sumptuous one moment then fragile the next, this is an album dripping with beauty and class.Adele's voice caresses and inspires, and is superbly supplemented by piano, guitar and glorious orchestration".(Lee Davis)All that we can say is that she sings with unabashed passion about a kind of pain we can all recognise, and that sort of thing doesn't date.Made of BricksPiece by PieceSpiritAlwaysRockferry
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