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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 23, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Soulful songstress displays full range of heartbreak

Though she speaks with a sassy Tottenham accent, when Adele begins to sing, her voice is powerful, controlled and stunning. But that doesn’t mean she loses her spunk.

It’s hard to live up to Adele’s 2009 debut album, “19,” which received wide praise and earned the soulful, 1960s-inspired artist two
Grammys. However, her latest release, “21,” is a nearly flawless follow-up album. With a pristine voice and superior songwriting ability, this songstress’ talent isn’t fading anytime soon.

The album opens with a track that emits sparks. “Rolling in the Deep,” a bluesy song with a stomping backbeat, has Adele’s voice arcing to highs and effortlessly plummeting back down to deep, full low notes. The verses crescendo into an explosive, indignant chorus that showcases Adele’s vocal ability and her craving for vengeance after heartbreak.

“Set Fire to the Rain” is another standout track, thanks to Adele’s biting clarity in diction and masterfully controlled vocal tumbling. In the chorus, her voice is like a trapeze artist, swooping and diving to different heights and ripping through the sound waves with an edginess that will incite shivers.

The album comes to a close with one of its strongest songs, “Someone Like You,” a piano-driven ballad that displays Adele’s expertise and grace when writing about heartbreak. She sings about still having feelings for someone through lyrics so honest that hearts will sink in empathy. Stunning verses with vocal dynamism hold listeners’ attention and accelerate into a heartbreaking chorus in which Adele’s voice soars over the steady piano.

With 11 amazing tracks, “21” surpasses expectations for a sophomore album. Adele’s true vocal and songwriting flair in this masterpiece proves her talent is enduring and will see many award nominations in the future.

4 out of 4 stars