Adele – 21: Simply Brilliant

Savouring a good bottle of full bodied red wine, you will grow to enjoy it with every sip and by the last drop, you are in heaven. Listening to Adele is just like that.

Said to be an album that touches the soul, Adele’s 21 is so brilliantly crafted every single note and tone seems to reach into your heart and tear down those protective walls that many of us build around our emotional palace. The songs leave you in pain, in doubt and even bring back some buried memories of old scars, it sure did for me.

Many of the album’s songs were inspired by Adele’s very own breakup with her boyfriend. But unlike many breakup songs, Adele’s are raw with emotion – so raw that you can taste the bitterness and anguish…and the impact leaves you yearning for more.

The first track of the album is Rolling in The Deep.  Released as her first single, this song’s power just blows you away. The song’s lyrics are riveting and capture the bitterness of a relationship that could have been perfect. Then comes Rumour Has It. This track uses a clever play of drums, backing vocals and jazzy beats to create the ominous appeal as suggested by the song title.

Turning Tables is another absolute gem of the album – a heart-wrenching song about being brave enough to leave someone. The saddest song in the album is Don’t You Remember. This number is a good song to listen to when someone has hurt you deeply. The heartfelt and intimate feelings ring through so clearly with Adele’s sultry voice. I would love this hear the a cappella version of this song.

Set Fire to the Rain – the most sensual and sexy song in the album. The arrangement perfectly showcases Adele’s big vocal which adds strength to this song. Every time I hear this song, I imagined it raining and I see the fire in the downpour with this song blasting on my stereo, and I feel the power of the song running through my veins.

He Won’t Go – a pop beat to this song brings lightness to the message about the risk one is willing to take to make love work. Take It All – simple yet beautiful with just the piano and her voice. Stripped bare and so honest, a nice touch with the church choir addition at the end.

I’ll Be Waiting – jazzy pop vibes, reminds me of those sultry numbers they play at the pubs. One and Only – another one of my top favourites of this album, the bluesy feel matches the sad taint of the song.

Love Song is the only non-original work in this album. It is actually a cover version of a song recorded by alternative rock band The Cure in their 1989 album, Disintegration. Adele’s cover more than did justice to the cult classic. The words “I’ll always love you” have never been sung so beautifully before without being cheesy.

Someone Like You – a fitting closure to the album. The first time I heard this song, I felt the pain of meeting someone you can never quite forget and the harsh reality of being loved and being the one who had loved. Let’s face it, love is never a bed of roses and never will be. And this song perfectly captures this tragic truth and the moment of realisation that one cannot change this reality no matter how hard one tries. It is definitely going to be a classic of the century – pure genius.

Now I have to go listen to Adele again, just can’t get enough of it.

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