Day 2 Mercury Prize: Adele – 21

6 Aug

Yesterday I started this twelve part series with synth band Metronomy’s new album. Today I’m facing the commercial smash-hit sophomore effort from Adele under the same process. I do fear that because I really dislike Adele this post will be more of a rant than a comment but I’ll try!

Before I begin I want to say I was not a fan of her first album 19 at all. I found it dull, whiny and not something that I would waste my time listening to. However I remember reading that Paul Epworth would be producing this record, whose work I love (Florence + The Machine, Kate Nash, Friendly Fires, Jack Penate) so I thought maybe she’s taking a ‘new direction’ on this album.

The album is like the previous one named after the age she was when she wrote it and like the last one it’s about a break up. So the album kicks off with Rolling in the Deep which you MUST have heard by now. First of all, I need to say that I think that this girl has a great voice but I find her style boring and I just don’t like her music. It is worth mentioning that I love the Jamie xx shuffle rework of the sng that you should check out. Rolling in the Deep is an incredibly catchy song which demonstrates her vocal talent quite well but it’s not THAT good. I think that is my main issue with Adele is that she is so overrated and that’s why I seem to dislike her the most. She continues this ‘swing’ vibe with her next song Rumour Has It. Rumour Has It has a very blues in the Royal Albert Hall feel (no, I’m not just saying that because she is going to play there) but once again it feels like she’s creating a catchy love song (‘rumour has it she ain’t got your love anymore’) and it’s actually not that impressive beneath the surface.

Turning Tables, is where Adele annoys me the most. It is the most dull song that seems to rival her previous characterless hit Hometown Glory. It blends in in the background and you can’t care less. Nothing to remember. Speaking of remembering her next song Don’t You Remember is basically the same formula as the previous own though this time lets swap the piano for a guitar?

Set Fire to the Rain follows and at least this is a bit more interesting though the song title really exasperates me (yes, that bad I have to use the word exasperate). Set Fire to the Rain showcases her vocal talent as the rest of the album does but IT JUST DOES NOT CAPTIVATE ME.

He Won’t Go has a bit more of a chilled out vibe going on and is a track that never would you put on to listen to. Sure, if I’m in charge of some clothe stores playlist for their outlets I’d consider putting it on the mix but never would you go on your iPod and select it. She’s heading back to the boring as watching paint dry emotion with Take It All but this is the first song on the album which I don’t appreciate her voice in, her high notes are pretty uncomfortable to listen to. Other than that you can’t notice anything on the song.

On I’ll Be Waiting she revisits the blues in the Albert Hall feeling and makes it a bit more interesting, you can shake around a bit and it feels like she’s freeing up. Unfortunately, she follows up with One and Only talking about the only one that she wants. Geez, this girl is a broken record. I don’t know what she’s trying to do in this song, is it smooth jazz? Is it pop? Is it neo-soul? I can’t make up my mind.

The penultimate song, Lovesong, got me thinking by the end of the album, haven’t I heard this before? It just all blends. Before she belts her heart out on Someone Like You her ‘first eva UK numba one’ (as she would say).

I don’t think I’ve managed to refrain from this being a rant but to be honest, I don’t get the hype around her. She’s dull and nothing to admire that much. I agree with what Metronomy had to say as well, she shouldn’t win the Mercury because it’s useless for her. She already has publicity and I’m sure she doesn’t need the prize money when the cheapest available tickets for her show at the Albert Hall are priced at 255 pounds.
Score: 4/10

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