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Hear Adele's new single "Skyfall"

British singer Adele performs at the Santa Monica

British singer Adele performs at the Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club in Santa Monica, Calif. Credit: Colin Young-Wolff

    Adele's transition from plucky, heartbroken underdog to the overwhelming odds-on success has begun. Her new single “Skyfall” (Columbia), from the upcoming James Bond film of the same name, arrived tonight in superstar fashion as the clock struck 0:07 in England. (Get it?) “Skyfall” isn't unsure of anything – it's massive and self-assured, with grand orchestration and Adele's even grander vocals to boot.

    “I was a little hesitant at first to be involved with the theme song for Skyfall," Adele said in a statement. "There's a lot of instant spotlight and pressure when it comes to a Bond song.  But I fell in love with the script and Paul [Epworth, her longtime collaborator] had some great ideas for the track and it ended up being a bit of a no brainer to do it in the end. It was also a lot of fun writing to a brief, something I've never done, which made it exciting. When we recorded the strings it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I’ll be back combing my hair when I'm 60 telling people I was a Bond girl back in the day I'm sure!”

    While Adele generally is at her best delivering raw emotion, on “Skyfall” she puts up a brave, stylish front capped by thunderous notes at the end. As the chosen artist to usher in James Bond's golden anniversary, she plays her role well, sticking closer to Bond theme traditions than recent entries from Jack White or Chris Cornell. “Skyfall” is no “Someone Like You,” but it will certainly be rolling across the top of the pop charts soon. 

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