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Thursday, June 2, 2011

In Print: Diva Queen Adele, Architecture in Helsinki's New Sound, and More

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 1:48 PM

  • Adele

Adele, Future Queen of Divas: Adele will never be a diva. Too nice. Too British. Hardly redoubtable. The other conditions are there, though: The big, honking, wood-smoked voice; the imposing vocal and physical presence; the glassy-eyed beauty, with that faint divot of a cleft chin; and the songs. Oh, the songs. 21, Adele's second album -- named for her age at the time she began composing it -- has a diva's stride and a diva's purpose. With a touch of sass and lots of grandeur, it's an often magical thing that insists on its importance. Scorned by a nasty breakup, the singer, born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs amid the aftershocks. It's a raw, flatly stated document, encased inside a slab of good old-fashioned record-label doohickery ...

Architecture in Helsinki Finds a Lean New Sound: This slimmed-down, electro-slanted approach heavily shapes Moment Bends, the band's fourth full-length and its first since 2007's Places Like This. Working out of a studio built above a Thai restaurant in Melbourne, the band members comfortably devoted two years to the album. Though there were roadblocks in the process, like "creative sabbaticals" and a week spent getting one particular bassline just right, Bird says they worked on the record intensely, even attempting a nine-to-five approach for a while. "It was more about being more focused and less rambunctious," he says. Out went the "kitchen sink" aesthetic and the brass sections. A cavalcade of synthesizers was given high priority -- including some that were around four decades old...

Also, we recommend shows from Sister Crayon, Braza, and J Boogie.

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Ian S. Port


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