You can't blame Adele for the timing of her arrival to the music scene. As much as everyone wants to argue about the fact that this young and soulful crooning female Brit is arriving thru the door that Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen opened, it seems more productive to explain how Adele fits rather than whether her arrival is based on merit or old fashioned label hit fishing. This is especially so, because after one listen to her debut, the 20 year-old's merit is unquestionable.
Adele's debut, 19, is a solid collection that showcases flourishes of voice as well as a varied songwriting style that showcases a keen understanding of both pop friendly notes as well as somber ballads. This is a professional-level debut with a litany of guaranteed singles and enough emotion to be trusted as a real and genuine product of a bonafide talent.
The only real problem here is the context in which this debut has been released. Adele will be dogged by constant comparisons to the aforementioned, as well as other ladies of the day, including Kate Nash and Duffy. But compared to these and others, Adele is unique in that she has no "edge." She is not trying to reinvent the wheel nor push your buttons. Under many circumstances, this might seem like a shortcoming. There is nothing on this record that will change your life but there isn't anything on 19 that will age poorly or will become a historical blip; in this climate, this may allow Adele to have a longer career and stronger following.
As some of our most recent ingÃ©nues try to become the next Billie, Dusty or Etta, Adele might more easily be the next Diana Krall. Which, again, is not a slight to Adele in anyway. Lest we forget, Krall has released a dozen records and has a plethora of awards to her name, has toured with Tony Bennett, performed a duet with Ray Charles, and is married to Elvis Costello. Try to beat that, ladies.
MP3 Download - "Last Nite" (Strokes Cover)