Adele, Roundhouse, London
Monday 11 July 2011
Adele's got a wicked cackle.
It's infectious and dirty, and tonight it makes a regular appearance between her rapid banter, which seems intended for her own amusement. She giggles when she lets slip the "F" word, talks about the "poor boy" ex who should take breaking up as a compliment, or when she asks how Beyoncé was able to keep her weave in place during her Glastonbury performance. "She does it with so much grace!" she comments, with a wide-eyed smile. "If it was me, I'd have egg on my face!"
On her personality alone, this 23-year-old is likeable enough, but throw love songs like "Chasing Pavements" and "Someone Like You" and such a carefree stage presence, and she's the woman you'd want to become your next best friend. It's this sincerity and relatable songwriting that's helped her become one of the biggest deals the music industry has seen for a while. It all started back in 2008 with her debut 19, which earned her a couple of Grammys, followed by album number two, 21, this year, which spent 11 consecutive weeks at number one in the UK album chart, topped the US album charts, and convinced everyone around the globe that Adele is truly a force to be reckoned with.
Then there's the Voice. Throughout this polished show, which features a few oldies, newbies and covers, it's so spontaneous and wonderfully unpredictable. On songs like "Turning Tables" or a version of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me", Adele seems to have mastered her God-given instrument to perfectly compliment the sentiment of her songs. A lamentful number like "Hometown Glory" comes with a thoughtful skats, a few woefully elongated notes thrown in too – and the audience cheer on every twist and turn. Likewise, the whimsical honky tonk of "I'll Be Waiting" is sung with such feistiness, she throws her head back in abandon when she get to the final note – and if the fed-up fella she's singing about was in the crowd, this would've been the performance that'd force him to have a change of heart.
With such a long leash on her chops, she's prone to the odd mess-up – like forgetting her words as she launches into "One and Only"; but the great thing about this is that, for all her infamy and talent, she's still a work in progress, guaranteeing the world a few more albums – and quite lovely performances – to come.
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