21 by Adele Music CD, ASIN: B004EBT5CU, Columbia (2011)
Sometimes referred to as British soul, the music of 21 has clearly been influenced by American jazz and blues singers. Adele claims Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Alanis Morrisette, Tom Waits, and Sinead O’Connor as her inspiration for the unique sound of the album.
21 manages to grab the listeners attention from the very first song, “Rolling in the Deep,” and even those who are not fans of R&B may enjoy this album. This song has a fast paced, bluesey sound and is accompanied by a drum beat and gospel background singers. It would require a very strong vocal talent to keep up with that, which Adele has in spades. Other notable songs from this album are “Rumor Has It” and “Set Fire to the Rain.” The album was inspired, in part, by a bitter break up and the pain of this event is reflected in the lyrics.
Information about the author:
Adele is the British singer whose 2008 debut album won two Grammy Awards and made her a leading pop singer in the U.K and the United States. Adele Adkins (who performs under her first name alone) was raised in London, grew up imitating the Spice Girls at home, and began singing in earnest at age 14, according to her official biography. After posting songs to MySpace.com, Adele was discovered by XL Recordings in 2006. Her 2008 debut album, 19, included the singles “Hometown Glory” and “Chasing Pavements” and won her Grammy Awards as best new artist and (for “Chasing Pavements”) best female pop vocal performance. Never a pop waif, Adele is known for her smoky voice and plus-sized body, which she uses to belt out power ballads and soul-tinged pop. (Her voice “could stop traffic,” journalist Paul Rees once told the BBC.) Her follow-up album, 21, was released in 2011, debuted at #1 on the U.K. music charts, and stayed there for 10 straight weeks, selling millions of copies. It was helped along by the acclaimed heartbreak-of-romance single “Someone Like You,” which became a big hit after Adele performed it at the BRIT Awards in February of 2011. Adele had surgery on her vocal cords later that year, temporarily derailing her rise, but returned to perform “Rolling in the Deep” at the Grammy Awards in 2012. That night she took home all six Grammys she was nominated for: album of the year and best pop album (both for 21), song of the year and record of the year and best short-form music video (all for “Rolling in the Deep”), and best pop vocal performance (for “Someone Like You”). She also sang the theme song to the 2012 movie Skyfall and earned an Oscar nomination for best original song.
Bluesy, Gospel and pop by turns, Adele’s 21 is eleven tracks of raw vocal talent.
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Reasons for inclusion:
Adele was the winner of the teen’s choice award for 2012 for best female singer.