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Article | The 10 years of ’21’, Adele’s masterpiece



At a time when the music world was dominated by pop, Adele dared to challenge the status quo with her masterpiece, “21”. Launched a decade ago, the album, which has become one of the most acclaimed of all time and is still reaping the rewards of its endless heritage, has been hailed for its understated and measured architecture and the crossing of different genres – what we haven’t seen before. for a while, perhaps since when Alicia Keys made her debut in the industry with “Songs in A Minor”.

Adele has an enviable and special career compared to her contemporaries and contemporaries. Starting at just 19, her eponymous debut wasn’t as critical and commercial as promised, but it has already demonstrated the vocal and artistic power of what would become one of the biggest names in the business today. ‘hui. Three years later, the singer and songwriter will delight fans around the world with a cohesive and spectacular production that would bring back intimate reflections and personal declamations to the detriment of the musical forays that dominated the mainstream scene – the electro-pop-bangers of the end. decade and would remain quite solid until the mid-2010s.

Few people have ever heard of Adele and her powerful ballads, recalling the works launched by Celine Dion in the 1990s. From “Someone Like You” to “Rolling in the Deep”, the artist has shown raw versatility, with abandonments that make the best of musical theatrical shine and create a sensory roller coaster like never before. Using his own experiences as the driving force behind 11 short tracks – immortalized by creative skill and an artistic team that includes names like Paul Epworth and Francis White – the result of “ 21 ” is a majestic celebration of all stages of life, whether in self-discovery, in loss of love, and in owning a bittersweet future. It’s clear that the performer’s brief discography, consisting of just three iterations, has been recognized for her metaphysical suffering, translated into solid verse and filled with romantic and / or realistic metaphors.

It is not surprising that the album enjoyed unparalleled critical and commercial success, which placed it at the top of sales for two consecutive years (a feat which had only been achieved by Michael Jackson with the legendary “Thriller “). Those who doubted Adele’s ability to reinvent herself paid with their tongue by looking at the stupendous numbers that today exceed 30 million pure copies (and over 45 million equivalent copies), making her the bestseller of the century and the third best-selling woman of all time. And while marketing content undeniably exists, the expert accolades have resulted in no less than six Grammy statuettes, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Music of the Year (something that would again be won with the famous ’25’), in addition to decorations in world lists and rankings.

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As part of the Rolling Stones’ 500 Best All-Time Albums compilation, Adele was starting to mature at a very young age. In just two years of her predecessor’s foray, the singer was already beginning to look at the world with new eyes – transforming herself into a humble and patient woman who recognized her flaws and was not ashamed to take responsibility for her mistakes (this which would be proven in her (multiple appearances at public events). If Adele is the woman we all know and love today, it’s thanks to the refreshing, nostalgic melodic intimacy she imprints on every track.

Maybe talking about idiosyncrasy is a bit of a stretch when you think of the performer. After all, she never failed to mention her big influences, from Amy Winehouse to Beyoncé, from Spice Girls to Mary J. Blige – that’s why she’s insulting as the inspiration for so many acts in recent years. . Adele has a remarkable appreciation for nostalgia and the unscrupulous amalgamation of genres, the practicality of which is revitalized in magic and catharsis. “21”, in fact, is the album that brings together all the best elements of the artist: we have the flirtation with pop in “Rumor Has It”, the strong presence of blues and bluegrass in “Lovesong” and the neo-soul and R&B for “I’ll Be Waiting” (one of the best and most underrated songs). Country and American statics are also honored throughout the journey, but without giving in to the plaster of the genre, working for the prevalence of what they could still offer for the future of music.

While in the United States the Soul won first with the aforementioned Keys, Adele reached a pioneering level of style rescue on British soil – which had already received sparks with Winehouse, Joss Stone, Duffy and Lily Allen. The vintage aesthetic would also add a new chapter to the classicism of the 1940s and 1950s, opening the doors to multigenerational impact in the same way Lady Gaga did between 2008 and 2011 and continues to do so in this new decade as a trailblazer. of the neo-house.

It’s been a while since Adele gifted us with a compilation of originals – and even if she doesn’t decide to shut down the music industry again, there’s still room to revisit her previous work. Having “21” at the peak of a splendid career, the album’s anniversary is a great reason to remember that life is a fusion of ups and downs.

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