Monday, December 26, 2011

BEST OF 2011 - #7 - ADELE "21"

Even if I had spent 2011 in a coma and didn't have any context about the effect that Adele's 21 had, I'd still dig the album.  But the fact that it got people excited about actually buying music again (she sold over 13 million copies worldwide), the fact that the first single "Rolling In The Deep" just seemed to dominate the airwaves and yet never got old, and yes, the fact that she seems to be such an unlikely star... all of that makes me enjoy it even more. And lots of other people enjoy it also: Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly named it their album of the year, VH1 named "Rolling In The Deep" the best song on their Top 40 Videos of 2011 (I was a "pundit" on the show, and was happy to comment on that song). And of course, Adele has a bunch of Grammy(R) nominations, and as a voter, I know I'll be voting for her a couple of times this year.

But like I said, the album holds up without any of that knowledge. Rick Rubin exec-produced the record and did a great job doing what he does: making sure the material is good enough, getting a sound that isn't too fancy and adorned, and then he gets out of the way.  Adele is a great singer, she's very soulful (although some contrarians try to come up with ways to deny that simple fact). "Rolling In The Deep" and "Someone Like You" have already reached iconic status (Saturday Night Live based a skit around "Someone Like You") but I actually think "Rumor Has It" is her greatest moment. Of course, she's only 21 as the album's title says, and I'm sure she has many more great moments.  For now, I hope her voice recovers in time for her to perform at the Grammys, which will surely be a great night for this very talented young lady.

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