Limited enhanced pressing of this 2008 debut album from the singer/songwriter featuring the enhanced video for 'Chasing Pavements' added as a bonus track. Citing her influences as diverse as Etta James, Jill Scott, Bjork, ... more »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. 12 tracks. XL« less
Limited enhanced pressing of this 2008 debut album from the singer/songwriter featuring the enhanced video for 'Chasing Pavements' added as a bonus track. Citing her 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. 12 tracks. XL
The Amy Winehouse comparisons are as misleading as they are
latejazzlover | San Francisco , CA | 08/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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 Bricks Piece by Piece Spirit Always Rockferry
Amy can sleep easy...
Nse Ette | Lagos, Nigeria | 02/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With declining album sales, and with the smashing success of Amy Winehouse (millions sold, 5 Grammys won), it seems every British record label has been on a major quest to discover the next Amy Winehouse as a solution to their woes. One of the names being touted for that post is Adele Atkins, who had every major and minor music critic jostling to outdo each other in lavishing her with plaudits. Heck, she's even getting a Brit award later this month, and all this before she had even released her debut.
While most girls her age grew up listening to Britney, Spice Girls and Kylie, Adele was listening to some of those too, as well as to Eva Cassidy, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, and some Amy also. She does have a rich, smoky world-weary voice to boot. Listening to "19" (titled after her age), I didn't find it as immediate as Amy's CD was, but it is a grower and there is an attempt at sonic variety. The album was produced by Mark Ronson (who also did Amy's, and just won a Grammy for producer of the year).
I guess in an attempt to deflect too much comparison, Adele's disc isn't restricted only to smoky retro jazz/blues sounds in the 12 tracks. In fact, opening cut "Daydreams" is an acoustic ballad as are "Best for last" (though this has jazzy phrasings), and the sparse bluesy "Crazy for you".
Lead-off single (and #2 UK hit) "Chasing pavements" is a lush, sweeping jazzy power ballad. Similar is closing cut the stirring "Hometown glory" (an ode to Tottenham), a stunning piano/string ballad and my favourite. "Melt my heart to stone" is a downbeat blues tinged string filled ballad, while "First love" is lullaby-like, complete with tinkling bells. "Make you feel my love" is a sombre (almost hymnal) piano ballad with weeping cello/violin.
Upping the tempo are "Cold shoulder" with skittery beats, "Right as rain" (Jazzy and bluesy, very Amy Winehouse), the catchy "My same" (with a snappy jazz/pop feel, I love it!) and "Tired" (lovely change in tempo midway).
The new Amy Winehouse? Not quite (one listen to "Back to black" puts paid to any such notion), but she should be able to carve a niche for herself in a field that promises to get even more crowded as the year progresses (with people like Duffy coming). Not bad at all for a 19 year old. "
Naoki | MD | 04/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adele's voice is fantastic and emotive. She blends British acoustic with blues and soul like Lauryn Hill(unplugged) meets Tracy Thorn and Etta James.
This is the only album I have listened to for the past month. My favorites are (soulful) Melt My Heart to Stone, (folk/country) Crazy for You, (blues vocal) First Love and (motown-ish) Right as Rain.
Her style is NOT the Amy Winehouse raspy attitude type of voice. Adele's niche is with her guitar and her voice.
I can't get enough."
Adele Is Even Better In Person
K. Archer | Bothell, WA | 11/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Adele when she made her appearance on Saturday Night LIve and I, literally, stopped ehat I was doing and listened to her voice with my mouth agape. Her vocal style is absolutely flawless...and she was actually singing (not lip synching). The next day, I bought the album 19 and was, once again, floored with the amazing tone of her voice and how all of her songs would simultaneously get stuck in my head. I found a few live performances including a Live Video she shot for "Melt My Heart To Stone" and she was even BETTER live than on her album.
She may get compared to Amy Winehouse, but Adele has such class and control of her voice, and her songs filled with such passion and feeling, that I think that soon, Amy Winehouse will get compared to Adele...and Adele will blow her out of the water!"
Review from a Professional Musician
Eric Leday | Mobile, AL | 12/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a classical musician w/ graduate degrees in music performance. Even with the very high level of musical critique that happens naturally when I listen to any type of music, I still managed to thoroughly enjoy this CD. To be quite honest, I don't enjoy very many "artists" in popular music...either because they don't have a good command of the fundamentals, or they don't respect music as an art form. Like Alanis Morrisette, Adele is one of those people in popular music whom I actually regard as a musician. I love the influence of the great jazz singers of yesteryear, in her singing. For a musician's standpoint, it is very refreshing to hear an actual accomplished musician in popular music. She has an excellent understanding of the fundamentals...this isn't exactly a basic fundamental, but she "bends" notes really well:) To hear someone in this realm of music actually understand what she's doing is very special. She'd be a shoe-in for a grammy, if winning a grammy was based on quality of musicianship. In my opinion, she (by far) surpasses most of the very seasoned entertainers in popular music. I'd put her next to actual musicians, like Mariah Carey, Kathleen Battle, Alanis Morrisette, or even a Renee Fleming."