Release Date: 19 January 2011
Must Listen To: ‘Rolling In the Deep’, ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Set Fire To The Rain’, ‘Turning Tables’, ‘One And Only’
Positives About This Album: ‘21’ is the perfect break up album for the girls. Prepare to grab a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates and sit on your bedroom floor with this record blasting. Adele’s vocals are truly a gift and are showcased to her highest ability. Her voice will give you Goosebumps throughout its entirety.
Negatives About This Album: The album is very repetitive with the theme of each song centred around getting her heart broken from the same boyfriend. The pace of the record is very slow with the angriest and powerful moments coming from the lead single ‘Rolling In The Deep’. Half the songs are getting constant airplay on national radio and are simply overplayed.
Toms Rating: 4 Stars
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Release Date: 23 May 2011
Must Listen To: ‘The Edge Of Glory’, ‘You And I’, ‘Government Hooker’, ‘Bad Kids’, ‘Scheiße’
Positives About This Album: This is a dance feel good album which explores the themes of self identity, being proud of who you are, equality rights and the underlying message of be yourself and don’t let anyone change you with a bit of sexualised imagery to make them dirty club hits. She is the mature/dance version of Taylor Swift as her lyrics are very meaningful and can relate to anyone but some of her messages are hidden behind metaphors.
Negatives About This Album: Disappointingly there are no ballads on ‘Born This Way’ however ‘You And I’ brings a Bruce Springsteen flavour and ‘The Edge Of Glory’ introduces a heart-warming story of a girl grieving for her grandfather. It would be beneficial for Lady Gaga to begin experimenting further with Jazz and soul music on her own album just like she did on Tony Bennett’s ‘Duets II’ album and her ThanksGiving/Christmas EP.
Toms Rating: 4 stars
Michael Buble – Christmas
Release Date: 21 October 2011
Must Listen To: ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Cold December Night’
Positives About This Album: Unlike most of the new Christmas albums that are being released this album stays true to the traditional roots of the carols and still incorporates his jazz sound that he has established and is famous for. Featuring on ‘Christmas’ is an original song titled ‘Cold December Night’ which surprisingly stands very well next to classic’s ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘White Christmas’.
Negatives About This Album: The album is very bland and doesn’t drastically change or keep your attention for the whole duration. It’s the perfect album to play during your Christmas Day Lunch/dinner.
Toms Rating: 3 Stars
Bruno Mars – Doo Wops & Hooligans
Release Date: 4 October 2010
Must Listen To: ‘Runaway Baby’, ‘Grenade’, ‘Marry You’, ‘Talking To The Moon’, ‘The Other Side’
Positives About This Album: A very catchy, laid-back urban album with positive upbeat harmonies and lyrics telling dark, sad and romantic love stories. Mars plays the heroine in his songs, saving the girl from her misery and making her happy. Four of last years catchiest songs were from this record, which automatically indicates that this is a good album.
Negatives About This Album: Not many negatives at all for ‘Doo Wops & Hooligans’ except for the fact that it personally took me a few listens to really like the record.
Toms Rating: 4.5 Stars
Tony Bennett – Duets II
Release Date: 20 September 2011
Must Listen To: ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’, ‘One For My Baby’, ‘How Do You Keep The Music Playing’, ‘On The Sunny Side Of The Street’
Positives About This Album: Has a fantastic line up of music stars including Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble, Willie Nelson, Mariah Carey and many more. Bennett’s voice is still as good as it was 10 years ago and just proves that he won’t be disappearing any time soon.
Negatives About This Album: ‘Duets II’ is a very long album with not much variety in the way the entire album sounds as a whole. Some of the duets just simply didn’t work and he would’ve been better to perform solo for half of the songs.
Toms Rating: 2.5 Stars
Susan Boyle – Someone To Watch Over Me
Release Date: 1 November 2011
Must Listen To: ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘Mad World’, ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘You Have To Be There’
Positives About This Album: Third album in and still going strong, Boyle’s journey is definitely unique and heart-warming. Her voice is as beautiful and perfected on previous albums and does not need any work. Her cover of Mad World will simply surprise you and leave Goosebumps standing on your arms.
Negatives About This Album: No negatives really surrounding ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ except it is nothing different or new to what she has already done in the past with her previous two records. It would be nice to hear some originals or maybe even see her perform some duets in the future.
Toms Rating: 3.5 Stars