Today the amazingly talented Adele officially drops her sophomore album, “21.” While many lump Adele in with rest of the British neo-soul wave (Amy Winehouse, Duffy, etc.) this makes Adele seem faddish rather than timeless. Adele is an old soul with a vocal style rarely heard anymore — controlled, fragile, emotional, and technically brilliant. And her live performances are consistently unbelievable, with no costumes, gimmicks, or strange arrangements (I’m looking at you, Katy Perry).
I was an Adele skeptic when she beat out Jazmine Sullivan for the Best New Artist Grammy in 2009, but I’ve since been converted. She’s the real deal. I can’t wait to hear “21,” as reviews have been universally positive but I think I may be the last person on Earth to wait for legal music releases. Even her biggest fans in the U.S. may not realize how much of a sales powerhouse Adele is her native England. Adele’s “21” is the highest selling album in the UK in five years, and she’s the first artist since the Beatles in 1964 to have both two singles and two albums in the top five simultaneously after her second “21” single “Someone Like You” beat out Lady Gaga for the #1 spot. And she deserves it.
Here’s Adele with her recent Brit Awards performance of “Someone Like You.”