Review by Clare Knight
I wanted to start this review with ‘there is nothing that disappoints with this album’, but I thought maybe that was a little too biased or bold. So, with this in mind I racked my brain to find something not so great about it, which was hard. All I got was that there isn’t much of a departure from Adele’s debut album, 19. Then I thought, why should there be? It is an intelligent, emotion filled album depicting a relationship’s blossom and demise and it is brilliant!
There I said it, I really like this album. It is full of killer harmonies, which is a signature I love about Adele. The stomping beats of Rumour Has It, the second track on the album following the first single Rolling In The Deep, showcases great songwriting with impressive vocals, handclaps and a great breakdown section.
Many see Adele as the queen of modern piano ballads and I would have to agree as 21 is full of epic songs equal to and surpassing Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory. For me, the stand out ballads are Turning Tables and Someone Like You, which are so bare but rich with emotion.
As I mentioned earlier, it is no secret the album is about one relationship and is successful in portraying the range of emotions we all know, from “go on bring it on, I’ll lay your shit bare” to “i’m glad you are happy, but don’t forget me“. Although it has the same subject matter the album never gets boring and the songs are sufficiently individual.
Another song I must make sure I mention is the soulful and groove fuelled I’ll Be Waiting, which reminds me of another artist I love, Diane Birch. With a hint of blues and covered in brass, I have a feeling this song might be a second single from this colourful and down right fantastic album!