- Audio CD (28 Jan. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording
- Label: XL
- ASIN: B000XGDO04
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (874 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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19 Original recording
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Critically-acclaimed debut album by the English singer-songwriter. Recorded while the singer was 19 years old, the album features the singles 'Hometown Glory', 'Chasing Pavements', 'Cold Shoulder', 'Tired' and 'Make You Feel My Love' (Bob Dylan cover).
It's easy to get the wrong impression about Adele. She looks like another Kate Nash, all Top Shop dresses and haircuts that only a mother could love. And the fact that she's been a fuss on MySpace for a while only ups the sense of trepidation. Add to that a Later! debut which came filled to the brim with nervous caterwauling, and hopes for her album aren't pitched particularly high.
This is why it's such a shock that it's a genuinely touching, maturely considered and brilliantly sung opus that belies her titular age. Listening to it for the first time is the aural equivalent of walking into one of those oh-so-quirky little bars that you expect to be filled with bland scenesters and discovering that everyone within is friendly and they're serving the finest soul food to fill you up with.
Pitching up somewhere between blues, folk and jazz, she's included something for everyone without ever pandering to a particular trend. Her melodies exude warmth, her singing is occasionally stunning and, in the dramatic Hometown Glory, the spiky cool of Cold Shoulder (which is unexpectedly reminiscent of Shara Nelson-era Massive Attack) and the piano epic Make You Feel My Love, she has tracks that make Lily Allen and Kate Nash sound every bit as ordinary as they are.
That said, there is a note of caution to be sounded. There's a danger of the hyperbole exceeding the actual potential here: The Brit Awards made her their first ever winner of the Critics' Choice award and the BBC's Sound of 2008 list named her as the most promising new music talent in UK, while one magazine compared her songbook with Leonard Cohen's! While she is undoubtedly good, she's not quite worthy of those accolades yet, as her voice lacks a little soul and her songwriting a little depth.
Adele is a fine prospect and a genuine talent, but just like Amy Winehouse, who went to the same performing arts school, her brilliance will truly shine when she's a little further into her career - though hopefully, she'll be better at handling the astronomical fame that awaits her than the crumbling Mrs Fielder-Civil.
19 is a great start, a solid base to build a career on and a wonderful reminder of just how great our home grown talent can be. Just goes to show that the old adage is true - you really can't go judging a pop star by their cover. --Chris Long
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Top Customer Reviews
It's an album that needs to be played several times to appreciate it. First time round I was rather disappointed; I bought it on the back of only hearing 'Chasing Pavements', which I think was also released as a single, but on first play I gained the impression that this was the only song I liked. Fortunately after a few more plays I changed my view on that, in fact I now prefer several other songs to the one she is best known for. One example is the more up-beat 'Right as Rain' which is pretty good.
Adele wrote seven of the songs on her own (or at least she is the only credited writer for seven), and of the remaining five she played a key role on four of them. The only 'cover' therefore is the aforementioned song by Bob Dylan but it does come over as the most musical song, the best produced and the most complete. In other words, the mastery of Dylan shines through and demonstrates that while Adele has talent and promise, she has someway to go before she's the finished article.
On occasions she seems (to me) to sing in a way that is removed from her natural accent; I noticed this on the opening track 'Daydreamer' in which she has a few Lily Allen-esque moments that I felt don't really suit her overall style.Read more ›
So it was a treat to listen to 19, her debut album, and find it ever so slightly less polished (or less over-produced, perhaps) than 21 but nonetheless very, very Adele.
It has its hits too: Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory probably gave Adele the heads-up she needed but then again all the tracks grow on you after a few dozen listening sessions in the car. After all, Daydreamer, First Love and Make You Feel My Love all show off her brilliant voice and its complex range of emotions.
I get the feeling a lot of her songs are at least partly auto-biographical which perhaps makes them even more poignant and listenable.
I don't know how anyone could not like listening to this pretty much laid-back, middle-of-the-road type music. It doesn't offend, it's beautifully written and the music never gets in the way of her fabulous voice.
If you don't know Adele then do yourself a favour and buy this. You'll be amazed.
Of course people have different opinions...some will say it is a great album, some that it is a work of a teenage songwriting genius, some may suggest Adele is yet another mockney accented `ladycomplainer` dropping her t`s for the boys and walking straight into the hall of fame where once Queen Lily Allen, Princess Kate Nash and court Jester Winehouse competed for middle class, ex-drama school, dumbed-down anti-prom queen of the year?
My opinion of "19" is that it is a good debut album. Adele quite clearly has a fine voice and the selection of songs never settles into a familiar pattern of `the danceable number followed by the ballad, etc etc..`
The instrumentation of the music is also to be admired with some songs just bass and vocals or guitar and vocals and some songs arranged with succinct orchestral leanings.
All in all...a good debut album.
I wouldn`t say much more than that.
Surely it is a prerequisite that a singer has at least a good voice (or unique voice?), decent tunes and of course a healthy dose of real talent.
Based on that prerequisite...Adele`s "19" is a good debut album. Any talk of the Brit Awards is just a sign of these uninspired times. Award the average the tag of genius and listen closely...you may just hear Lily, Kate and Amy laughing at us behing our backs. They know better and so should we!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a good album, although her later ones are slightly better. This one plays well so very pleased.Published 2 hours ago by lost the plot