Adele ’21’ Album Review

The new Adele album ‘21’ is out this week and in the U.K. has outsold all the rest of the Top 10 albums combined. No surprise. This is one terrific album and signals that the current crop of singers is as good as any we’ve ever had. What’s even more surprising is that her first album ’19’ is set to re-enter the Top 5. People just can’t get enough of this woman’s music.

Adele has been compared to many but to these ears is the new Dusty Springfield, capable of wringing from the song and the listener any emotion she cares to engender: joy, sorrow, wonderment, nostalgia as well as a sense of phrasing that will awaken even the most jaded listener. What is encouraging about Adele’s future is her maturity and her commitment to a musical purpose that eluded Dusty and brought her to an unfortunate end. We have in Adele a highly-focused and balanced singer who seems capable of anything to which she sets her mind.

Yes, Adele has been well-rewarded with recognition and Grammys at an early age, and not because there’s been a dearth of competition. Such singers as Jessi J, Clare Maguire and Anna Calvi are producing great work, but Adele has something distinctive going for her that they don’t: a sultry and sincere combination of rock, jazz and soul that rarely exist in the same voice.

Here’s what she had to say recently about her new album and her mildly astonishing range of current influences:

“I discovered lots of artists I’d never heard of, particularly Wanda Jackson, Allison Krauss, Yvonne Fair, Andrew Bird, Neko Case, Lady Antebellum and Steel Drivers who I fell in love with. Then I delved in to more from artists I’ve loved forever – Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Elbow, Mos Def, Alanis Morissette, Tom Waits and Sinead O’Connor. There’s something in every single one of these artists that has really really inspired ’21′.”

Adele is without a doubt the finest young female singer on the music scene today, and ’21’ is a worthy testament to her undeniably great talent. We are barely a month into the new year, and we have on our hands an amazing contender for the Best of 2011. Adele’s 21 is both inspiring and exciting.