After listening to Adele’s latest album 21, my first instinct was to stand up and give the album a standing ovation. I don’t think I’ve ever had an album resonate so deeply with me after a first listen.
Adele had quite the hit song on her hands with "Chasing Pavements." The song was a part of her acclaimed debut album, 19, which led Adele to winning two Grammys, including Best New Artist in 2009.
Adele began working on her new album, 21, while she was on tour in the United States promoting 19. Her tour-bus driver turned her on to “amazing country and blues and rockabilly and bluegrass and gospel” music while on the road. After being introduced to the music of Wanda Jackson, Adele said in a press release that it had a “massive effect, couldn’t help it, it rubbed off on me.”
21, which addresses love, heartbreak and everything in between was inspired from the singer-songwriter’s own love life. Adele said, “I had the most poignant relationship in between these two records. I met him and he was brilliant; it was a really great relationship and it went sour obviously, because I made a bitchy record about him.”
Adele worked with some amazing collaborators on the album, including One Republic’s Ryan Tedder, Paul Epworth, Dan Wilson, Fraser T. Smith, Greg Wells, and Francis “Eg” White. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and Paul Epworth.
It opens with lead single, “Rolling In The Deep.” Described by Adele as “a dark bluesy gospel disco tune,” the song talks about looking back on love and what could have been. I remember the first time I heard it, and I couldn’t believe it was Adele. I knew it was her voice, but the tempo and the melody were so different than anything I had heard her sing before. This song really shows some personality, which was a goal of hers.
"I think I come across moody and serious with my music," she said, "but, in real life, I'm sarcastic and very cheeky. I really wanted at least one song on this album that was representative of me as a girl, as a person. I don't think the playful me came across on the first album. It's important to show growth and development."