Adele – ‘Hello’, New Single Review

adele

                     © Official Album Cover – ADELE & XL Recordings 2015

So the time has come for the arrival of Adele’s long awaited single, ‘Hello’.  It seems the whole country went into stunned silence during last Sunday’s X Factor ad-break, when the hauntingly familiar voice of Adele beamed into our living rooms. No moving pictures, just a black screen with white text, and that voice!  https://youtu.be/dfZCJDkck4Q

It was a very clever pr stunt by her management team as we all couldn’t wait for Friday to arrive when Adele appeared and unveiled the entire song on Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show.  https://youtu.be/1-D1ZTM5zdc (Check out the ‘Hello Off’ with Lionel Ritchie at 10 mins 40 seconds).

‘After 3 years of being away from music simply living life and being a Mum, ‘Hello’ is like a reintroduction of myself to the world. ‘Hello, it’s me’ is what you say when you call someone up. It’s what I’m going to say to everyone when I come back’. ‘My last record was a break-up record, …..this one I would call a make-up record. I’m making up with myself’.

The single is undeniably Adele. A similar formula to previous singles with simple keyboard, chilling vocal, ample space, and emotional lyrics. The song starts slowly with just keyboard and vocals, and builds during the first verse with a hint of background strings.  The chorus sees the addition of the bass drum as the vocal melody increases, then before you know it you are being drawn back into the lilting journey of the second verse.  It’s raw, honest and creeps up on the listener.  It’s beautifully done, however, I wouldn’t say it was on a similar level as ‘Skyfall’, ‘Someone Like You’ or Adele’s cover of the Cure’s ‘Lovesong’.  However, it is fantastic to finally hear some new material and I look forward to the release of Adele’s 3rd album, ’25’, on November 20th.

As for the video, it’s slightly confusing as it’s not supposed to be a break-up record, but that’s what the video seems to suggest. However, the flip-top mobile phone is a nostalgic touch and the sepia tone is beautifully atmospheric. Adele of course looks stunning with those to-die-for cheek bones and melt into, mesmerising eyes.  For me, it’s a 6 out of 10. 

© ADELE 2015
© XL Recordings 2015
© The Adele Logo, the Hello track name, the 25 Logo, the 25 Album Artwork, the Official Single Cover and the wide-scale full single image have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

 

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Pear and Frangipane Fruit Tarts

bake off

With the recent final of the Great British Bake Off glueing 14 million of us to our television’s, I was delighted to see Nadiya win with her cardamom & almond iced buns, raspberry mille feuille, and romantic saree wedding cake.

For as long as I can remember I have loved the smell of fresh baking coming from my Mum’s kitchen, and over the years I have baked many a cake, biscuit and cookie.  However,  I tend to stick to the same things so after watching the Bake Off, it has inspired me to challenge myself and bake anew.

I have chosen to do a fruit tart because they are one of my favourite treats to have with a cup of tea.  On this occasion I am going to be making a Gluten and Dairy Free Pear and Frangipane Tart. (I overdid the pastry a little, but that’s how I like it, nice and crunchy).  Enjoy.

Gluten and Dairy Free Pear and Frangipane TartIMG_2369

Pastry Ingredients                                                    Frangipane
250g Gluten Free Flour                                             50g Sunflower Spread
85g Sunflower Spread (or similar)                        75g Caster Sugar
85g Icing Sugar                                                           75g Ground Almonds
1 Egg                                                                               1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk                                                                     1 teaspoon Gluten Free Flour

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190 C (180c fan assisted). Make the pastry and chill for about 30 minutes while you make the frangipane.  Beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy, then add the flour, egg and ground almonds.  Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a food processor.  Set aside.

Line the tart case with the pastry and then spread over a layer of frangipane. Peel, halve and core the pears and arrange onto the frangipane flat side down. They can be sliced through or left as halves.  Brush lightly with melted sunflower spread and sprinkle with caster sugar.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.

TV – Sunday Night at the Palladium

Sunday_Night_at_the_Palladium

I was delighted to see that Sunday Night at the Palladium has returned to our screens (2014) after a 40 year break.  It’s wonderful to see so much variety and talent in one evening’s entertainment.

Jason Manford compered and opened the show with a song/dance number from the musical which recently toured the UK, called The Producers.  And what a brilliant singer and dancer Jason is. For those who haven’t seen it, the tour has now ended, but you can still watch the film (released in 2005 and written by the infamous Mel Brooks).  It is a very witty and satirical story of Broadway producer Max Bialystock, (Nathan Lane), who is informed by his accountant Leo Bloom, (Matthew Broderick), that he could make more money producing a flop than by producing a Broadway hit.

I won’t spoil it for you, but if you like the thought of a musical set in Nazi Germany with some fabulous camp scenes (in the gay sense of the word), show-business in jokes, and very sharp humour, you are going to love this. Will Ferrell’s performance is nothing short of brilliant and Uma Thurman makes an adorable and very sexy Ulla Swanson. The story flows nicely, the songs and dances are marvellous and it leaves you feeling on a high. A must see.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Producers_(musical)
the producers
Another act worth a mention on Sunday Night at the Palladium was ‘The Thousand Hands Dance’ performed by the Chinese Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe (who are all deaf). Their performance was nothing short of mesmerising.  Such beauty in so many ways.  The precision timing and elegance of each movement flowed seamlessly from one move to the next.  A feast of colour and shapes.  Each position was a photographer’s dream. It was as though one was looking through a flowing kaleidoscope. Truly inspiring.
chinahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsX3yPLYROc