This is a fantastic record, signalling a fresh, new emerging talent. Emeli Sandé has a great voice, great song writing abilities and a striking look. Couple that with her intelligent and grounded Aberdonian personality and wide ranging contacts in the music business coming out of her track record of writing songs for other people and you have an apparently sure-fire recipe for success.
You will have heard and noticed some of the singles released, but I first became properly aware of her from her appearance on Jools Holland, where she did a stripped down version of 'heaven'. I liked the breakbeats /trip-hop version which is the opening track on the album, but when you hear it taken down to an acoustic level you really appreciate the raw talent. To that extent the comparisons with Adele are inevitable (given that Adele now sets the bench mark and did a similarly impressive live take of someone like you on the same show, and not least because Emeli's first name happens to be Adele!)
This is a record varied in style. There are some excellent pop songs with full pop production, as well as slower more acoustic numbers. Her great voice and gift for melody are the linking threads, but some may find that range of styles detracts - sometimes this feels more of a showcase than a coherent album. But what a showcase! Subject matter for songs tends towards love: lost, found and yearned for. The lyrics however are often fresh and intelligent, and on occasion ('river') seem to transcend the human towards religious overtones (well that's my take anyway).
In summary, this is a great debut which will have wide appeal. Highly recommended.