The worldwide phenomenon dazzles in this live concert at the Royal Albert Hall in her hometown of London, England. Recorded on September 22, 2011, Adele shares stories of her childhood and recent life, discusses the origins of her songs, and flat out entertains the crowd. You’ll also see behind-the-scenes footage of Adele throughout the day leading up to the concert. Adele has an amazing voice and it is apparent here during the concert as she sings the best of her two albums plus covers a few songs. I especially enjoyed “Rumour Has It,” “Someone Like You,” and “Rolling in the Deep.” And her tribute to Amy Winehouse with Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" was beautiful. Find the DVD Adele: Live at the Royal Albert Hall at the library (it includes a CD of her live performances). You can also check out her CDs at the library. Want more Adele? Tune into NBC on June 5 for an hour-long interview and concert special with Adele and Matt Lauer. Billboard.com previews the event.
Rumer has been compared to Karen Carpenter, and I understand why. Her voice is clear, strong, and soulful. She touches your emotional being and moves into your heart. “Aretha,” “Come to Me High,” and “Take Me As I Am” are favorites, but all the songs provide a mellow, gentle, feel good experience for the listener. Check out Seasons of the Soul by Rumer from the library today. Also watch her recent performance at the White House.
Whokill by tUnE-yArDs (2011) A funky blend of Afro-Pop, R&B, and acoustic come together in this album by the percussionist and singer Merrill Garbus. This offbeat record where Garbus layers and loops her voice is a feel good album that will have you dancing for hours. For those of you who love Afro-pop artists like Zap Mama, this album is a must listen! Check out an interview with Garbus and a review of the album in Pitchfork. For more about the group, visit their record label 4AD.
21 by Adele (2011) IMHO, this young British singer/songwriter outdoes her debut album with this new effort. Powerful yet nuanced, hard-hearted yet tender, raw yet refined, "in-your-face" yet intimate, she blows me away with her evocative vocals. I have heard her studio as well as unplugged versions of a couple of these tunes, and she gets air play on alternative, contemporary, and soft rock stations. This woman's talent has wide-ranging appeal; I can't avoid a clichéd comment: a-ma-zing.
Lungs by Florence + the Machine (2009) This debut album from the eccentric British pop singer Florence Welch is not only mesmerizing but it is also a lot of fun. Welsh’s elegant voice stands out on this record amid the building crescendos of frenzied percussion. With tracks like “You’ve Got the Love” and the “Dog Days are Over,” you won’t be able to resist dancing. This is a perfect album for the summer. Check out a review of the album.
It’s Entertainment! by Celtic Thunder (2010) Not the usual Irish group singing Irish songs – Celtic Thunder’s wonderful voices blend together to celebrate (“Hallelujah” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”) and individually to entertain (“Hello Again” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”). The most amazing harmonies will move you, please you, and have you thoroughly entertained.
I Dreamed a Dream by Susan Boyle (2009) Media sensation Susan Boyle apparently hasn’t yet decided on a style. However, this hodgepodge first album probably won’t disappoint fans. Her expressive voice transcends the lush orchestration of the star-making “I Dreamed a Dream” while the elegance of just her voice and piano in her version of the Monkees’ (you read that right) “Daydream Believer” redefines “mellow.” She also includes an unexpectedly effective version of “Wild Horses” (the Stones). However, I most enjoyed Ms. Boyle’s “Cry Me a River," with its slow and sensuous interpretation of the jazzy standard. IMHO, she has all the makings of a jazz chanteuse. Wow! This lady can sing.
19 by Adele (2008) I first heard her hit “Chasing Pavements,” then watched her accomplished performance at the Grammy awards. (She won two.) This delicious album by the young British singer Adele has a style that ranges from bluesy to jazzy with some pop garnishes. Her nuanced delivery of songs in a powerful yet sultry and edgy voice really impresses, as does her stunning songwriting capability. My favorite recipes in this cookbook: “Chasing Pavements,” “Right as Rain” and “Cold Shoulder.”
Il Divo by Il Divo (2004) Yes, I know they’re a “fabricated” classical pop quartet. They still possess awesome voices, depth in performance, and first rate song selection, with the unfortunate exception of “Feelings.” –And I wonder if anyone can NOT experience an emotional reaction to the beautiful “Mama.” For more on the group, visit their website.