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A promise of better things to come
on 2 January 2009
This is the debut album from Adele Laurie Blue Adkins who was, I assume, 19 years old when she completed it as she was born in May 1988 and the album came out in 2007. Credit must be given, then, to a young lady who not only sings well - most of the time - but who actually wrote most of the 12 songs here. My favourite one however was composed by Bob Dylan ('Make you feel my love') which stands out from all the others in terms of its lyrics and poetic balance.
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. It's the sort of thing that she herself will probably cringe about when she hears it in years to come, but let's be fair, she's a teenage singer-songwriter and she should be admired for what she's achieved at such a young age. She shows signs of class, and I'm sure she'll improve with age and experience.
Now that I have played the album several times, I like it more than I did on first audition, but it still doesn't blow me away. Quite good, and by no means a classic, but showing positive signs for her future.