Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Take It All" - An Emotional Plea for Mercy

I spent the better part of one night watching and listening to Adele perform her songs as part of the iTunes Festival in London. She sang to a packed auditorium to the point where I'm sure many people were involuntary squeezed up against one another. I don't think I've ever seen so many people in such an intimate musical setting before. Nevertheless, the crowd responded warmly and listened to the soul that is Adele.

I admitted I was a sucker for joyous love songs, but I also have a weak spot for incredibly depressing ones! This song is devastatingly beautiful, heartbreaking and depressing, and thus, my favourite song of hers to date. (Even more so than Someone Like You! Although, that song does come in at a close second...) Yes, it does have its fair share of stubborness and immaturity. The selfishness is quite clear. Adele cries out 'What about me? Look at what you're doing to me'. But the heavy attachment she gives to the song is hard to ignore and overrides any flaws. It really encapsulates heartbreak at its worst - the egocentric, self-absorbed beings we become when we're hurt. And the more I listen to her, I can't help but listen to the truth she brings with every word sung and as a result, sympathise with - and somewhat pity - her loss.

I jokingly posted on my Twitter account the following: "What is it about Adele's songs that makes you never want to get out of bed, ever again?". One of my male friends replied with: "It's the soul in her voice." And I think he hit the nail right on the head.*  

What is the definition of "soul"? In musical terms, it is a style/genre which could be considered as a softer, stripped down version of 'RnB'. The song does reflect this; the musical components are quite simple. The chords used aren't complicated and there's only one tempo/rhythm used throughout it.

But in everyday terms... the soul - what's inside all of us in one form or another - is a complex vacuum of emotions - emotions we love, emotions we tolerate and emotions we wish we will never have to endure a second time around. And putting aside the technical aspects of music, maybe that's what true soul is in the musical world - raw emotion sung from the heart.

From the powerful beginning of "Didn't I give it all?", the bargaining of "I will change if I must.", 'Take It All' is my favourite song on her album. It's the begging, the pleading, the hurt and the anger all compressed into a 3 minute tune.

*It's good to know that Adele does not only reach out to the female populace, but also taps into our men's 'hidden' emotions too.

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