The Rise and Fall of Adele

Adele is an artist renowned for her songs about female rites of passage. As she matured, fell in love and parted ways, Adele recorded four albums that bear her age at recording them; now with 30 (her latest) she’s looking ahead.

An important yet challenging challenge awaits you.

How She Became Famous

Adele stands as an unlikely hero in an industry whose value has been cut in half over the past decade, defying trends and breaking records alike with albums consistently topping charts around the globe.

She stands out as an original with an exquisite voice that resonates with audiences worldwide. Never having taken formal singing lessons herself, she stands as one of few musicians with naturally gifted singing voice.

Adele made an immediate splash upon release of her 2008 debut album ’19’ and has gone on to sell millions worldwide since. Adele followed up this success in 2011 with her follow up ’21’ which has also become some of the best-selling records of this century.

Her Debut Album

Adele made an impactful statement with her debut album Adele: she can sing about heartbreak and loss with remarkable grace, not only because her voice is stunning but because her lyrics are profound.

Women’s Power serves as an invocation. A simple piano melody brings drama and subtle anger; yet at the same time this song remains hopeful.

On 30, she began shifting away from pop structures and exploring a fuller sound with gospel, jazz and soul influences – using samples of Erroll Garner piano for an airy vintage sound on All Night Parking interlude track.

Her Second Album

Adele’s second studio album explored her experiences of loss and recovery. It captured Adele’s journey from being an uncertain girl navigating life to an empowered woman rediscovering herself and finding purposeful happiness.

This record begins with a Fender Rhodes keyboard hook and jazzy torch-ballad melodrama, nodding towards Portishead and Lauryn Hill in its opening bars. Over time, however, its music becomes increasingly experimental, drawing inspiration from modern R&B like Mos Def and Elbow as well as Old Hollywood soul music from 1970s soul artists like Prince and Stevie Wonder.

This work by Kelis is her most dense and emotionally moving ever, unlike her previous albums which could sometimes feel too self-consciously dramatic or disjointed in pace and tone. Kelis’ bravura vocals are truly inspiring!

Her Third Album

Adele raised the stakes with her sophomore LP after 21’s success by telling a narrative over 12 tracks while exploring more contemporary musical ideas – her sound seemed less bound up in longstanding traditions and more in line with new visionaries such as Frank Ocean and Jazmine Sullivan.

On 25, Adele explored ways to update her classic style and sound without diluting its emotional intensity. She would gently bring you down and then build you back up again before offering an easy listening respite in “Sweetest Devotion”.

Adele used this album to demonstrate the range of emotions her voice could convey, from whimsical to dramatic to melancholic; her strong vocals amplified this range.

Her Fourth Album

Adele has experienced dramatic transformation since 2008. No longer the shy teenager from Tottenham who would enjoy drinking cheap cider with friends in the park, Adele is now an international pop superstar with a global fan base, professional helpers and an Old Etonian as her partner; with an estimated brand value estimated in millions or even billions.

With her 2015 debut 25 she shifted away from a narrative of breakup, instead exploring how you can move beyond heartache and heal yourself. However, on 30 she went further by exploring all aspects of emotion in song – making them legible to an audience who only heard about them through song before. 30 is her most diverse album to date as she collaborated with both old and new producers to expand her sonic palette while showing the full depths of her vocal range.