Adele - 'Rolling In The Deep'
For someone who is straightforwardly, transparently, a massive talent, Adele's records aren't half troublesome at times. Her earliest successes seemed to come coated in a thick layer of brushed-on egg-yolk production (or, more accurately in the case of 'Chasing Pavements', a thick layer of Eg White production), to the extent that the raw astonishment of her voice sometimes got buried underneath the swooping avalanche of immaculate perfection.
It was, at times, a bit like watching a tiger in the zoo. You're perfectly aware that there's a beast in your presence which is possessed of huge reserves of power and beauty, but something very human and restrictive keeps getting in the way.
The exception to this, obviously, is 'Make You Feel My Love': a song which, in its simplicity and power, doesn't so much free the beast as smash the zoo down; destroy the entire town around it, grow a rain forest, develop an eco-system, release the tiger; and then run for the hills.
The question is, does Adele's comeback single seek to re-capture that tiger, or send David Attenborough (or Steve Backshall, if you're more of a CBBC fan) with a camera crew, ready to watch it tear a deer to pieces?
(Bambi, you might want to stop reading around about now.)
(No video. She's laying something unspeakable bare.)
So, here's what's going on. Adele's looking back over the end of a relationship, and she wants to be perfectly clear that while it is a very sad thing that things have turned out the way they have, she's not gonna waste her time pining at home. Not when she can castigate her ex for letting everything fall apart. And when you're being castigated by someone who can sing like this, you STAY castigated.
Best of all, for once, the production is all behind her, emerging in a fan formation like a street gang, ready for a fight. The ghostly harmonies, the propulsive handclaps, the played-with-my-face piano...it's all there to support that remarkable voice in full flight. And it flies, like, really really high. The chorus alone could exfoliate an entire university, should any students be foolish enough to stick their faces too close.
And it's clearly the kind of huffy soul strop that matches her no-nonsense personality too. Rather than mimsying around town, wondering what to do with herself, she's got some poor soul by the knackers and has lifted him off the ground. Who knows, maybe she's about to dangle him off a bridge.
That's what you get if you mess with a tiger in the wild.
The Beat Review says: "'Rolling In The Deep' is a sign that '21' might produce a more adult, contemporary and jazz incorporated with enough soul for our earbuds."
The Complex Media says: "I've been unable to stop playing and singing it (horribly) for days."