Review: Adele - 19

A look back at a debut that launched a star...
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Adele - 19She doesn’t have the best voice we've ever heard but Adele has that “thing."She's such a powerful song interpreter she makes you feel her joy, pain, and anger even if you don't completely understand the lyrics. You still know what she means and she makes you feel it, too.

I discovered Adele and 19 about a year after everyone else did. I didn’t take her seriously because the radio people (what I call people who let the radio dictate who their favorite artists are) took to her so quickly and earnestly. That meant, to me, she was too glossy, a flash in the pan, light on substance or possibly all three. Then I heard her cover of “Make You Feel My Love” on a CD mix my friend made and I was hooked. She made a song I’d heard 500 times before sound new and somehow more special, not just because it was from a female perspective but because it was coming from her. And she makes you feel, whether you want to or not.

The first two tracks on 19 (“Daydreamer” and “Best For Last”) are nice little songs but unremarkable. Where the album really starts for me is with the third song on the disc, “Chasing Pavements.” It sneaks up and draws you in before you even know what happened. It starts off like the previous two, fairly mellow, sultry and full of emotion and then it swells and you’re enveloped in her voice and done for. It gives me instant goose bumps each time, and on the right day, just the chorus of this song alone can squeeze a tear or two up from my icy, cold, heart.

There are no low points although nothing else reaches the heights of “Chasing Pavements” and “Make You Feel My Love.” She explains our draw back to the old neighborhood better than I’ve heard anyone do in a long time on “Hometown Glory.” The feeling when you go back home after you’ve grown up whether by age, experience, or both and seeing things differently; there’s a bit of sadness and clarity to it. I love this song.

Adele’s voice is strong and transparent enough to bring us back in time; we’re 19-years old all over again, angry, clinging to love that isn’t worth it, changing ourselves for just one more chance with a person so wrong for you, and begging for another day of feeling that delicious pain. As teenagers/young adults we are addicted to falling in and out of love, even when it wasn’t love to begin with. Adele knows that and dedicated an entire album to it.