Adele review, 30: Patron saint of heartbreak licks her wounds in a divorce album that takes risks
The Independent says Across a more diverse fourth record, the returning singer braids in glimmering moments of self-affirmation amid the typical tirades against herself.
No one makes heartbreak as relatable as Adele. Ever since she was discovered aged 18 on Myspace in 2006, the Tottenham-born singer has made weepy, diaristic soul music her métier. She gathers pain – hers and ours – and spins it into songs that go diamond or platinum. It’s an alchemy she has honed over 15 years and just three records.
The songs themselves are good. Grounded in pathos, they tend to be handsomely crafted ballads about love and its various agonies – but it’s her vocals that sell them. Adele possesses that perfectly imperfect voice, gargantuan and frail all at once. It’s epic without resorting to showy, melismatic affectations. It yawns into unexpected shapes and makes intonation fun. But there are many great vocalists out there who don’t attract the same mass adoration. There’s something else about Adele that makes her so endearing, something that preternatural vocal cords alone can’t explain.
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