I watch music with a close eye. I read Billboard.com daily likes it’s going out of style. I feel it’s essential to know what it going on in the world of music and film so that one could have a well rounded opinion – if ones opinion is asked. Whenever a writer/journalist is asked a “best of” question it is totally subjective and never fact. My “best album of 2011″ would have to be Adele’s “21.”
In 2011, I’ve purchased and listened to many albums. Some mainstream like Adele’s “21,” Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne and some a little more obscure like Samantha James “Illusions”. But for some reason, Adele’s “21” stands as my favorite. Not because its popular or the biggest selling album in America thus far. But because it is an album that just – amazing. The vocals, music, production, content – it is all there. Adele gives you everything and more.
Here is a white, British singer who could give you Soul, Blues, and even Gospel in one song. When “Rolling In The Deep” first played on the radio, before everyone went ape over it, I got goosebumps at the chanting Supreme-esque background vocals and the deep South gospel breakdown prior to the last verse. This was a woman who had clearly been inspired by many African American musical forms and not afraid to show it and share it with her fans. Name any singer today, putting Gospel into their mainstream music and making it work?
When I heard “Rumor Has It” and “He Won’t Leave” I saw more influences of 60’s Motown sounds with a touch of 90’s Hip Hop Soul that would make both Aretha Franklin and Mary J. proud. When I listened to the album all the way through I was completely satisfied and in today’s musical climate that is very rare to come by.
This year, we’ve received new music from Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, and many more that are huge multi-platinum selling artist and none of them, in my opinion, delivered 100% like Adele. Both Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne opened with over 1 million sold in their first weeks but failed to keep up the momentum. Beyonce, Kanye and Jay-Z, and several others also had high profile releases but failed to deliver bona-fide hits as of yet. However, Adele’s album came out during the first quarter of 2011 and has yet to go below #3 on the Billboard charts.
I’m eagerly awaiting whatever live performances she has coming out way. I will even go as far as to begin making Grammy predictions. She will win one or two of the big three in the Grammy’s top awards: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, or Record of the Year. She’s already won Best New Artist at the 2009 Grammys.
Lastly, I love the message that Adele sends with her body. She is breaking barriers for the “healthy women” in the world. She’s not a size two like some anorexic model; she doesn’t possess that “Hollywood” look that the entertainment industry perpetuates. Adele is thick and curvy and has the voice of a goddess. When she steps out on that stage and sings nothing else matters except the talent that lives within her. And everyone is blown away.