Musicality - Adele, Audra Day, Troye Sivan, Kylie

Adele still has it. She proved it with the first peek at this album when she released “Hello.” Some say she has gone too mainstream pop, and that might be true for one or two of the songs, but the album as a whole is great. It’s hard to top her previous album, 21, and I don’t think she does that here. However, it is still wonderful. Her voice has gone through hurdles and surgeries, but she still has the chops that captivated her fans. Though her voice is the highlight of her music, my favorite aspect of Adele’s work has always been her songwriting. She doesn’t disappoint. The album is slightly more optimistic than the heart-wrenching 21, and it’s a welcome change. My favorite songs are “I Miss You,” “Water Under the Bridge,” and “Million Years Ago.”
Andra Day
Cheers to the Fall
(Warner Bros.)
Thirty seconds into the first song on this album and I’m sold on Andra Day. She fills the hole that has been mostly empty since Amy Winehouse tragically passed away four years ago. Her voice reminds me a bit of Winehouse’s. Listen to the song “Only Love” to see why I say this. Every track that follows provides further proof. This album is perfectly bluesy and soulful. Day also manages to pull off a disco vibe in “Mistakes.” Do yourself a favor by checking this album out. It has no weak spots. My favorite songs are “Forever Mine” and “Honey or Fire.”
Troye Sivan
Wild EP
(Capitol/EMI Music Australia)
At age 20, Troye Sivan knows how to make an EP. The full-length album comes out in early December, and this six-track demo makes me impatient for it. Sivan an openly gay, multi-talented YouTube celebrity, also has a previous CD and a few mainstream movies under his belt, most notably X Men Origins: Wolverine. His musical style is subtle pop and electronic, and the album is slow and sexy, serious and hopeful. Sivan’s voice is delightfully crisp. He has captured the attention of notable artists like Taylor Swift, who raved about the Wild EP on Twitter. My favorite songs are “Ease,” “Wild” and “Be Quiet.”
(Parlophone/Warner Bros.)
Kylie Minogue has never really come to mind when I think of Christmas, but she might after listening to this oddly fun album. I assumed I would hate it, and I’m confused by the fact that I rather enjoyed it. I really liked her rendition of “Santa Baby,” which suits her vocal style. Although I’m not a huge fan of the slower and more serious songs, she really pulls off the more lighthearted tracks like “Let It Snow.” This album might not be for everyone, but if you want to add some upbeat zest to your holidays, give it a shot. My favorite songs are “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

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