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Review: Adele – 25

She’s back. The well awaited album from six-time Grammy Award winner Adele is finally here.

When Adele dropped a clip of her new single Hello into an ad break on Sunday nights X Factor’s results the internet exploded with excitement. There was no need for introduction or even her face to appear on screen because the powerful, husky filled voice was all anyone needed to hear to recognise her.

Later that week she released a music video which got everyone talking and now after a long awaited four years since the last release of new music, fans of the singer-songwriter finally have no longer to wait to hear the soul wrenching voice return.

Her album, 25, starts with the number one returning single Hello and while yes, the album does contain a fair few ballads, some songs such as Water Under The Bridge and River Lea are up beat and classic sing- a-long Adele tracks that will remind you of the second album (21) songs Rolling In The Deep, Waiting For You and songs from the first album, 19, such as Tired.

The album has hints of rhythm and blues sounds which are similar to her first album, 19. Including heart warming soul songs that may bring a tear to the eye but this time in a good way. Big ballad songs like When We Were Young are showing strong signs of being big hits as the powerful punching notes, she hits during the song will both surprise and shock listeners.

It’s fair to say that Adele’s voice has changed and undoubtedly this is for the better. It seems to have mellowed and matured yet still holds that raspiness tone we all love and recognise. It stretches and reaches for boundaries that her previous music wouldn’t have even dared to touch. It shows her strongest points and allows listeners yet again to hear what’s beneath that excitable and honest exterior she shows during interviews.

Nostalgia is a key theme to this album as it was with the others. Songs such as River Lea describe her love for her home town and describes the River Thames. It’s a step up from Hometown Glory a hit from her first album 19 but emphasises her proud roots. Throughout the album are sad reminding moments such as in Million Years Ago when listeners are given a glimpse of how the singers life isn’t as simple as it was before her 21 album became the award winner it was by selling over 30 million copies.

It’s pretty clear that this is Adele’s growing up and making up record with lyrics such as “we both know we ain’t kids no more” reminding us of how this singer has transitioned from being young and heartbroken into a woman who is keen to forget, forgive and move on but certainly remembering that path that lead her to her stardom.

Personally this album doesn’t disappoint, it has a mixture of songs I would expect to some big heart impacting and surprising sounds too.

Go and grab a copy and let me know what you think!

Review – The Script Metro Radio Arena, 23rd February 2015

The Script manage to raise the roof off Metro Radio Arena yet again

The Dublin born pop rock trio came to Newcastle with their new tour No Sound Without Silence which takes it’s name from the bands new album and managed to give the crowd a night they would not forget.

The show started off with an amazing upbeat and energetic performance from Tinie Tempah, who recently had to step in as a support act when singer Labrinth quit the tour at short notice. Tinie preformed hit songs such as Pass Out and Trampoline which got the fans warmed up after waiting in the cold for hours for front row views.

The set list included some of the classics from their first album such as We Cry and Breakeven and some of their breakthrough hits such as Superheros and Hall of Fame. The band now has four albums to their name and an array of songs, which fans would be dying to hear.

This gig had something for everyone as not only did the band have their usual set on the main stage but they also had a separate stage in the centre of the standing audience. Here they sang one of their new slow songs off the album Never Seen Anything Quite Like You and a song from their first album Man That Can’t Be Moved.

Throughout the night the band which includes lead singer, Danny O’Donoghue, guitar player, Mark Sheehan and drummer, Glen Power made links to their proud and strong Irish roots they also had small added touches such as their microphones being covered with Irish flag colours.

The trio also sang one of their songs off the new album which features in the beginning of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, which is called Hail Rain or Sunshine. The ending saw a shower of golden shimmer flakes fall down on the audience and close the show.

The Dublin born band sure know how to entertain a crowd and I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see them in the North East.

Danny O'Donoghue taking centre stage - @anniem_roberts
Danny O’Donoghue taking centre stage – Credit:@anniem_roberts

Review: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire

The well-awaited sequel to the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, may be burning up UK box office charts for months to come

Almost two weeks after the films release, cinema screenings are still packed with eager audiences waiting to find out the next part of the anticipated story.

The film follows the trilogy of novels written by author Suzanne Collins. Based around a fictional futuristic kingdom called Panem, The Hunger Games enters a world unknown, where people are sectioned into 12 districts and required to work for the capital. Children and teenagers are offered up from their districts to fight to the death in an arena, which is watched by many.

Director Francis Lawrence does well to bring this fantastic fantasy novel to a reality in the film. Creating magical moments of pure creativity and not disappointing the book lovers. After young heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) defeated the arena with fellow district member Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) by convincing the creators of the games they were madly in love and willing to kill themselves rather than each other. The pair feel safe in the knowledge that they can never be selected for the games again.

However, President Snow (Donald Sutherland), head of the capital, can see that Katniss has become a symbol of hope for district members that one day they too can defeat the capitol powers. Realising she is a threat they have to find a way of destroying the hope and destroying her. They reselect past survivors of the games, including Katniss, and place them yet again into a killing arena. This not only challenges the constant on screen and crowd-pleasing romance Katniss has to have with Peeta but also brings along troubles with secret boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

Ending on a cliffhanger audiences are left questioning whether Katniss will be the one to save the districts from the hold of the capital. With quick paced scenes and heart racing moments it is packed full of drama, intensity and at times pure fear. It’s a must watch film for 2013, that has definitely got everyone talking.

Rating – 5/5

Imagine Dragons, Newcastle 02 Academy, 18th November 2013

A sold out 02 Academy awaits them and Imagine Dragons walk out to their first ever Newcastle gig onlooking a screaming crowd.

They were joined by Australian band Atlas Genius who begun the gig by playing some foot-tapping songs that entertained the crowd as they were slowly piling in. Upcoming British artist Dan Croll was up next and sang his new song ‘Home’ along with ‘My Way’ a familiar song which seemed to be known by many crowd members.

A touching moment of the set was when the band played ’30 Lives’. A song which was clearly close to their heart. It was dedicated to a friend who had lost a long battle with cancer earlier on in the year. The crowd were silent throughout the whole of this song creating a moving moment for both the band members and audience.

This band are possibly even better live they excel their album and almost making it look weak compared to their live sets. Watch out because this American band are only going to get bigger and better.

Taken by @anniem_roberts (18/11/13)