Another British Invasion: Its been a pretty rapid rise for British singer Adele, who will be playing a sold out Somerville Theater tonight. In fact, as we look forward through her calendar, it's hard to find a date or a performance that isn't sold out at this point. Adele isn't just a musician - she's her own musical movement.
Adele leads the pack here in 2009.
She plays the intimate Somerville Theatre tonight.
Adele is frequently mentioned in the same breath as great contemporary vocalists Amy Winehouse and Duffy. Each is similar in that not only are they are British women, but that they pull from the same musical palette. Perhaps with good reason... Adele attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, which has a fairly illustrious alumni list, including Winehouse as well as singers Kate Nash and Imogen Heap. The comparisons may be fair - but, having said this... Adele reminded us in an December interview appearing in The Guardian; "We're a gender not a genre".
Everything is still new and developing for this talented singer. Adele won the first ever BRIT Critics' Choice Award for outstanding unsigned artists. She received a Mercury Prize nomination and is also up for four Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Chasing Pavements and Best New Artist. Normally, I think the Grammys are total crap, but they are right in this case.
Adele's debut is 19 - a record that has been met with considerable critical praise and gone certified platinum in sales. (The record is named for the age when she wrote and released it.)
This record is a pleasure, although says that she was miserable when she wrote the songs for it. (It seems high art and heartbreak always go hand in hand.) Her singles such as "Chasing Pavements" and "Right as Rain" are more highly structured and richly produced than the rest of the album. However, for the most part, the songs on 19 are fairly sparse in their arrangement, which allows the listener to soak in the rich velvet of her voice. Check out this live set she did on NPR's World Cafe to get a feel for the power of her vocals.
Adele will reportedly be heading out to California later this year to start work on her second album. I'm looking forward to it. You can follow her adventures on her blog, where she seems to post with some regularity. And, if you can somehow get a ticket for tonight's events, it should be a very special show.