I’ll have to admit: some songs on 21 are proof of the fact that Adele has an idea as to what makes a pop song not only listenable, but memorable. Somewhere on this manufactured pop princess record designed for mass consumption, there is a human touch, almost as if she lets something genuine shine through.
There are exactly 2 good songs on the record, and one another that is almost in the “good” category. All the other songs are bullshit. The discerning listener can dismiss them without a second thought. Piano crap, clichéd and generic, right from the lyrics to the linear, dime a dozen melodies, seriously, people listen to shit like this? They pay money, good legal tender, for this? For once I don’t feel guilty about downloading an album illegally.
The opener, “Rolling in the Deep”, is the sole reason I bothered to look Adele up in the first place. No doubt about it, she has a fantastic voice, and that is what actually carries the song. The steady, arresting rhythm captures the attention, and Adele manages to hold it. Here she sounds heartfelt, strong, even though the song is actually a lament. Her grammy performance came off even stronger than the studio version. Yes sir, Adele does have a clue. She knows how to perform. It was the grammys and her competition is Nicki Minaj or whichever Page 3 personality they used on the stage, so it is easy to call Adele’s success a combination of low standards in pop music and a case of a deaf person among the blind. In fact, not only is it easy, it is true for the most part. Like around 80%, eh?
The second good song is cover. Yes, that is correct. Not only that, it is a cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong”. While the original is icy, ironic, in the best tradition of The Cure patented mope rock, Adele’s version is warmer, more welcoming, and one where her voice is used to best effect, in stark contrast to the vocals on the original. Definitely worth hearing I say.
Yes I did mention one more song that qualifies as not being crap, but what the hell, this is Adele we are talking about here, and I am not exceeding my standard word limit for some Grammy Award Winner. She has potential, but she should try writing her own songs sometime. She should also try writing about something that is not trivial and self-obsessed. Oh, wait a minute; I forget this is pop music where self-pity and narcissism reign supreme.
PS – When I say “good” I don’t mean on the level of the other genuine artists reviewed on this site. This is pop level good. Which is, you hear it one day, hum it the next, and discard it the day after. Unlike great metal or classical music, pop music is like the butterfly, easily born and soon dead.