Adele’s debut 19 was one of my favorite albums the year it came out. It was fresh and bold, her boisterous talent evident right from the start. The naivety of her words were charming and irresistible and man, did she ever cry her heart out. I loved it.
However, although her long awaited and highly anticipated sophomore release 21 has caused her thrust her into international superstar status, I have to admit that it just isn’t doing it for me. Her voice remains as sultry and soulful as ever but I feel as though something was lost along the way this time around. It has taken a lot of pondering to even put my finger on what it is that I don’t enjoy, but I think I’ve sussed it out. While some fans will appreciate the smoothness of 21, I miss the roughness and imperfection present on her first release. Her debut was fresh and raw and her use of street slang and her sometimes strong London accent made it unique and very personal. All that seems be gone with 21, which is a very clean and, in my opinion, overproduced album. Perhaps Adele’s grown up? Apart from megahit ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and the heart wrenching Bob Dylan cover ‘Make You Feel My Love’, the songs on 21 leave something to be desired, at least for me. Her newest songs don’t even hold a candle to the likes of ‘Hometown Glory’, ‘Chasing Pavements’, ‘Cold Shoulder’ and this song, my all-time favorite, ‘Melt My Heart To Stone’.
All in all, it’s a good album but it just didn’t fulfill my expectations. I suppose we’ll just have wait a few more years to see what 23 brings to the table. Until then, enjoy my favorite tune!