Live at the Royal Albert Hall features British vocal sensation Adele performing at the storied venue during her promotional tour for her 2011 studio effort, 21. Backed by her rock ensemble as well as a string section, Adele runs through most of 21 while adding in earlier hits off her 2008 debut, 19, including "Chasing Pavements," "Hometown Glory," and "My Same." Primarily, however, Adele focuses here on material off 21, including such cuts as "Rumour Has It," "Turning Tables," "Someone Like You," the über-ballad "Take It All," and the funky hit "Rolling in the Deep." In perfect vocal form here prior to her 2011 throat surgery, Adele is the epitome of a burnished soul diva with a singer/songwriter's heart. Beautifully recorded and performed, Live at the Royal Albert Hall conveys all the drama of Adele's music and is the perfect companion piece to 21.
With just a couple of cursory listens to the few tracks that popped up all over the Internet through 2007, comparisons were made between Adele, the much-hyped brassy British songstress, and Amy Winehouse, the…much-hyped brassy British songstress. However, after a solid listen to 19, the first full sampling by the up-and-coming Adele, listeners are forced to throw all comparisons to the wind; Adele is simply too magical to compare her to anyone. Bluesy like it's no one's business yet voluptuously funky in a contemporary way, Adele rocks out 19 with a unique voice and gritty sound that dazzle endlessly…
Naxos’ exciting and important American Classics series now includes music of the present day, in this case three recent works by Philip Glass. The Violin Concerto, a work that (surprisingly) adheres to classical conventions, lures us in with beautiful, seductive harmonies. Glass relies both on his trademark arpeggiated technique (sounding in the first movement somewhat like Vivaldi’s “Winter” concerto) and on his favorite harmonic progressions to suggest a sustained melodic line. In the first two movements Glass’ carefully timed harmonic and rhythmic shifts keep you in a happy daze. He breaks the mood in the finale, however, leaving the soloist to practice arpeggios at length until the quiet, serene coda steals in. Adele Anthony, who plays with the kind of skill and grace we would expect in a Mozart concerto, brings off Glass’ work with consummate, convincing musicianship. Company (music for Becket’s prose) for string orchestra is in four movements, characterized by stimulating changes in time signature and rhythm.
Adele headlined the U.K.'s famed Glastonbury festival Saturday, a much anticipated gig that the singer called "the best fucking moment of my whole life" during the show. The 15-song, 90-minute-long set featured the live debut of 25's "River Lea" alongside over a dozen of the singer's hits including the headlining set's closer "Someone Like You."