REVIEW: Adaline – “Aquatic”

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Words by: Jennifer Boylen

Toronto native, Adaline, is no stranger to the music scene with two albums under her belt and an extensive songwriting resume. It’s obvious that her newest release, Aquatic, which is set to be released June 2, 2017, generously showcases her talents. Her chops as a songstress really shine throughout these 10 tracks. Aquatic is full of catchy hooks, poetic lyricism, and a percussive backbone. Adaline’s composition style is very much alt-pop at face value, but with substance and vulnerability that give this record an edge beyond the pop formula. Aquatic lives up to it’s title as it was literally written at sea. While that theme may not be obviously apparent, there is a tone and flow that leaks from song to song, reminiscent of the ocean. Aquatic has an overarching theme of love and connection while being haunting and cinematic–reaching far beyond the point of honest emotion.

The second single and lead track , “How Could We Know” is light and ambient with breathy vocals. Throughout Aquatic, Adaline’s vocal range flows between powerhouse and airy, which really adds to the variety of the album. There is a theme, musically and stylistically throughout but her transformative voice really breaks it up and keeps the record moving along.  

Lead single, “Entertainer” is driving and a bit more rock and roll feeling than the majority of the record. As a lead single, it definitely grabs your attention and the lyrics are on trend with the theme of love and substance that we hear all over Aquatic. That being said, it may be the single but, it’s definitely not the biggest stand out. Then, we immediately revisit breathy vocals and in intense backing track with “Nostalgia”, and it continues for the majority of the remainder of Aquatic.

“Stronger” is a soaring, melodramatic ballad of sorts, with out feeling indulgent. But then as soon as you think Adaline has hit you with as much emotion as you can handle. “Younger Days” begins. It’s simple, stripped down, and almost a window straight into her heart. It’s bare, honest, and nothing short of beautiful. Each track is genuine and honest, however there is a substantial amount of variety throughout so you don’t get bogged down with slower, deep songs. Tracks like “Calling it Love” and “Commotion” do a great job of picking up the end of the record. But don’t think that’s all you’re going to get: “Breaking Me Apart” and closing track “Aquatic” fall back into the caveat of flowy and near atmospheric. These two tracks really solidified the water concept, they really giving the feeling of the ebb and flow of the ocean.

With 10 tracks, Aquatic shows Adaline’s talent is undeniable and her style of composition is all her own. Her songwriting is authentic and full of character and her performance is exceptional.

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