I know nothing of Adele prior to Saturday, and today is just an hour until Tuesday. All I know is that she pops up in my iTunes every opportunity I open it and quite frankly, it is annoying as all hell. All the advertising an artist can get always gets to me as somewhat deceiving and shallow therefore there was no way in hell I would ever listen to her just because of that simple analogy, that hype always begets disappointment, especially not from the dying music industry where only a few flourish while flooded with mediocrity, mainsteam and indie alike. Mediocre, yes, just like normal, everyday life.
It was out of a whim that I decided to have Adele's 21 on my playlist which are somewhat getting frustratingly redundant now. I was not expecting much though, not even an idea of what genre she belongs to. It was easy to remove her if the album ever strikes a nerve. I've been disappointed an awful lot in the past that my personal taste in music evolved into a more demanding, boss-like stature. Plus, her uninspired album names didn't help much.
Anyway, I went to try out one of her songs beforehand through Youtube. The first single I heard of her was Rolling In The Deep. She was more robust as I would have imagined looking at her headshot from the album covers. I poke no insults, she was still elegant and clearly talented, she would bite me off the dust; no pun intended. Hesitant as I am, the inner critique in me were looking much for flaws instead of the song itself. I was mildly impressed at first. Yes, she does have a beautiful, deep voice, but I figured it wasn't as distinctive as I'd hope for. Her voice gobbles up the instrumentals, you can barely hear any of it. But it was fierce and with a nice tone to boot. That was all the reason I needed to convince myself of giving her another shot. 'Amaze me, woman,' were the words I remember telling myself of it.
I still listen to soul/blues every now and then. Last one I got was Cee Lo Green. And while that was an honourable mention, the entire album was still slightly disappointing. It was arguably anti-soul/blues.
There was one particularly familiar song in the album, 21. That's Lovesong. While the revival of the classic The Cure song was defended well, a familiar man would find it stale in comparison to 311's own rendition. Even so, it accommodates well to the tea-drinking crowd or the jazz-loving commuter, and that's what matters. It caters to different tastes.
So far the list was underwhelming for the first couple of tracks. Rumour Has It didn't bode well for my ears. Turning Tables wasn't bad, wasn't the best either. The keyboards were noteworthy though. I almost lost all hope after the first ten minutes. I skipped tracks and randomly chose One and Only.
That was it. It struck me like a powerful slap on the face. This five-minute, forty eight-second track instantly made me a believer. No questions asked, forgetting all the flaws from the start. From that first play onwards three hours passed without any signal. The lyrical aspects were as common as that of the next artist's but the deliverance and melody were astounding and marvellous. It fed my barren soul with colour and vigour. For awhile, I could imagine myself in a high while lying on my sofa. I found myself unable to resist listening to it over and over again.
It wasn't the only track I fell in love to, however. Someone Like You struck me in a similar way. The piano ballad gave a strong push to her already powerful vocals, provocative and haunting. It was soothing while empowering at the same time, rarely such a gem cause a tremendous emotional outburst on me except Billie Holiday. It left a bittersweet taste in my palate that I wanted to rid of but asked for it instead. The composition of the lyrics are heartfelt and symmetric. In lots of ways I envied that. It is something I wish to achieve and I am quite aware of the skills needed to do such an amazing piece of art, it is just that to draw inspiration from within one's self is the trickiest part.
Almost all my favourites were on the B-sides ironically. Another track that amazes me to no end is Set Fire to the Rain. A motivational testament to Adele's musical talent. Her bravado engulfs the entire space with her voice.
In courtesy to her own abilities as a singer/songwriter I take back all the clouded judgment earlier. She is the real deal. A legend in the making. And that goes without saying. I've been listening to a lot of crap in recent times that the amount of suck is at a staggering high, and for her to arrive in such a fashionable way just blows me away completely.
The album I got includes a bonus track as well that is of equal note. I Found A Boy is similarly as powerful as its counterparts, equally noteworthy.
The only regret I had was not meeting such a marvel sooner. For what seemed like a deception to turn into something of a greater privilege proves hype is in lots of ways effective on its own whilst still bearing over-the-top sensation in itself. I'd go out on a limb to say that even a hardcore punk could be swayed by her talents as well. Not looking down on other artists, but in comparison to, say, Katy Perry or Justin Bieber or Ke$ha, none should be as deserving of all the bounties as Adele herself.
Looking forward to see her perform sometime here in London. Mayhap, if fate allows it, get a chance to meet her in person and share a lively conversation over a cup of tea and piano.