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ROLLING IN THE DEEP, 2011

Lead Vocal: Juanita Mankuleo

"She takes you places other artists don't go to anymore—the way they did in the '70s."

                               -- Beyonce

Of course, Amy Winehouse's success made it easier for Adele to break out. After Winehouse, folks rediscovered the fact that talent and soul could be translated into money. The music industry was on the look out, and Adele was 'discovered' when a friend posted a few songs she had written for a high school project on MySpace! (the rise and fall of MySpace is a whole, different story).

While she's not quite out there like Amy Winehouse was, Adele very much marches to her own beat. She's candidly human like Amy, but with more of a focus on her songs than her vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, her songs let us into her life as she lives, grows, and matures. And that 4-octave VOICE!! While clearly influenced by old school jazz, gospel, and soul, Adele has not been shy about sharing her admiration of contemporaneous pop acts like The Spice Girls, Beyonce, and P!nk.

No musical snobbery here.

 

Her first 3 albums were named after her age when she recorded them ... 19, 21, and 25. 19 had 'growing up' songs, including her first hit, "Hometown Glory," written when she was just 16. 21 was her 'breakup' album and 25 was her 'make up' album. 21 won six Grammies (breaking Amy Winehouse' s record) and resulted in her being the first artist since The Beatles to have 2 albums and 2 songs simultaneously in the UK Top 5!  A fourth album is in the works supposedly for release sometime soon.

 

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After Juanita did "Valerie," I needed to come up with another song for her. Obviously, I did not have to think very much before I came up with "Rolling In The Deep." She hesitated a bit. Reality TV music show contestants are advised not to pick Adele songs because 'there is no way you can do them justice.'  But Juanita isn't the backing down type, so she gave it a go - and how!

The song is simple on the surface, with a lot of subtle details that really make it ‘pop.’ Listen for the delayed chord changes at the start of most measures in the verse. The chord pattern in the second chorus reverses, walking up as opposed to walking down, while the melody remains the same (thanks Kurt). And the harmony shifts from a major interval to a minor interval between the first 2 phrases (thanks Bobby). Finally, note the syncopated hand claps – hand claps are notoriously hard to record and we had to use the ‘latex gloves’ method from the movie Yesterday, plus some software wizardry, to get a decent sound (thanks Chris).

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