Adele’s got an accent like she was taught to speak by Scottish sheepherders, Tartan plaid scarf to match. Her sunset red bouffant is more American girl group; her young woman sass, too. She’s more directly nasty, though. And what a talker. She came onstage with a blue plastic penis ruler. She said she’d performed at The Box, New York City’s fainting-couch-replete venue for porny throwback stageshows and expensive private events, the latter of which this was, thrown by her label just for kicks and guys who talk loud, order double gin drinks and dress like bankers in expensive suits and striped lime ties with big knots. Adele was nervous, sitting high on a stool, talking to us about how she was nervous, about the man who broke her heart and about whom she wrote her new album, 21. He left her for New York. She said she flipped a table at a dim sum restaurant, smiled when she faux-flipped him off. Then talked about an Adele fan video YouTube, talked about Simon Cowell. Definitely mentioned barfing at some point. Gutter talk uttered with angel’s breath. Or not breath, as she sings without air, just crystallization of power straight from the sternum. During "Don't You Remember," she sang I have a fickle heart and bitterness, and a wandering eye, and a heaviness and righteously wielded it sounded like authority. The slow songs, they are buttery, but its speed and fire from Adele that’s most likable. It’s no popularity contest with a voice like that, but even a no brainer level of talent needs some spit and vinegar, be it a modern continuation of rollicking pop, love letter to Motown from the future, or dick jokes. She’s got them all.
February 03, 2011