Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sweet Soul Sister

No mercy, she knows she is good...Adele is the latest gal from the U.K. to apply 60's R&B to a modern setting.

Last Christmas I bought my wife the CD by Adele, the latest in the recent line of British retro R&B acts. Her album is named 19, which I think was her age at the time of recording and belies the older, wiser tone of her voice. Of the new wave of R&B divas, Adele has the best natural sound with a strong, smooth tone that has warmth and a touch of roughness that conveys heartfelt feeling. In this world of British Soul sirens Amy Winehouse is the "saucy crack whore" and Duffy is "sexpot heartbreak" by way of Dusty Springfield leaving Adele as the "nice girl next door". She doesn't go out of her way to impress, she just lets the music speak for itself.

Her hit Chasing Pavements takes a sweeping melody to a yearning ballad that allows Adele to stretch her vocals out nicely. She has a touch of jazziness in the slow numbers that distinguishes her from the pack. Even the well worn Make You Feel My Love gets new life under Adele's supple approach. But hey, everyone in this genre does ballads and midtempo foot tappers. What Adele's strength lies in is performing up tempo dance tracks. Right as Rain and Tired are standout cuts that get my head bobbing whenever I hear them.

Adele's music doesn't knock me out or amaze me, I just enjoy the high level of consistency she maintains throughout her disc. Her music is pleasant, fun and relaxing - which explains why I hear her songs in shopping malls. That's not a knock in this case, it's nice to hear music of this type done with sincerity. And who knows, if she takes home some Grammy awards she could even be the next big thing.


Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Huh, never heard her before. She kinda overdoes the little "cry" thing in her voice, but, yeh, I think I might like her. Thanks.

Mr. Mike said...

Sure thing SKW! The "cry" thing describes it perfectly.