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The Blue & Gray Press | February 25, 2018

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Adele's Turns '21' and Makes a Fantastic Album

By MATT BLAKLEY

Anyone who loves a powerhouse voice probably got into Adele’s first album, “19”, but her new album, “21” also panders to those with an appreciation for the well-crafted instrumental.

When “19” dropped in 2008, it featured a coming-of-age Adele offering wisdom on young relationships and debuting her impressive voice by through witty lyrics accompanied by acoustic guitar. “21” features the same girl, but with a matured, more insightful perspective. Aside from growing into womanhood throughout her two-year hiatus, Adele also went through a slew of failed relationships which are examined throughout the album.

Must-hear tracks include the album’s first single “Rolling in the Deep,” co-written by Adele and producer Paul Epworth, in which Adele reams into an ex-love for breaking her heart and “play[ing] it to the beat.” The track not only prefaces the album’s overarching theme of love, whether it be lost, endangered, or unrequited, but also introduces the CD’s new abundantly percussive sound.

The second song, “Rumour Has It,” uses heavy percussion to elevate a confident Adele while she addresses the rumors conjured up by various social circles regarding herself and her various love interests.

Another highlight is the album finale, “Someone Like You.” While Adele is only as wise as anyone else her age, she knows how to relate with her audience through the sense of desperation embedded into lyrics like, “don’t forget me, I beg,” but also dismisses the immaturity involved with heartache by saying, “I wish nothing but the best for you.”

“21” is an album of incredibly engaging songs and lyrics. That said, some of the songs are a little over the top. At certain points, the combination of her loud voice and the bold sounds of the instruments lean on the side of cacophonous.

But, if you haven’t heard it—buy it. You won’t be sorry.