Friday, 28 January 2011
Back in 2008, in the wake of Amy Winehouse's sensational rise and subsequent fall, two young female artistes stepped into the void she left behind - Duffy and Adele.
Duffy's debut - Rockferry - was one of my favorite albums that year, and though her nasal vocal style took some getting used to, I loved that album, and even went for her concert in Singapore later that year. In contrast, I thought Adele's album 19 was a little tame compared to Duffy's, though she really caught my ear with songs like Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory. Still loved that album though.
Fast forward 3 years, and both girls have new albums again, and this time around, Adele is the one who has the better album. Duffy's Endlessly was not bad, but if you hated her voice on Rockferry, you'd REALLY hate it on Endlessly. The nasal-ness of her voice is really more pronounced this time, and it was partly why I couldn't really listen to it for too long.
Adele's new album 21 however, is WAY better. At first, album opener Rolling In The Deep actually reminded me of something from Florence And the Machine; and I thought Adele was going all Florence on us. But the song does pregress into something a lot more than just a Florence rip-off. Rumour Has It is another foot-stomping rollicker, but it's the later songs that really stand out for me.
The ballads Turning Tables, One And Only and Lovesong (a cover of The Cure), are great, but for the album's most emotional, most moving and most emo moment, check out the album closer Someone Like You. Now THAT is an epic ballad, just some rolling piano, some very sad, sad lyrics, and Adele's voice at her most yearning and melancholic yet.
The other highlight of the album for me is Set Fire To The Rain. It's probably the most dramatic moment on the entire album. As moving and soulful as her voice is one Someone Like You, it's the complete opposite here. Here, her voice is soaring, powerful and hits all the most dramatic notes perfectly.
Forget all your Britneys, Swifts and Biebers. If you want REAL female pop music, one that isn't autotuned to death and consists of REAL singing, check out Adele's 21.