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Y’okay kids, it’s stage school time. You know, like good old Britney, their mothers forced them into some performers’ hell until some svengali happened by and liberated his next bunch of jailbait for a Steps or an S-Club 7. So, say a big hello to Adele; or as the more unkind have called her, Amy Winehouse-Lite.

Alright, maybe we’re being overly horrible, but come on, if you’d been named Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and you’d been to the music and arts skewed BRIT School (alumni include Katie Melua, the Kooks’ Luke Pritchard, Floetry and Ms Winehouse, natch) then you’d probably be a little precocious, right?

Anyway, what we’re hoping is that all this ‘the new Amy Winehouse’ nonsense (‘new’ being record company speak for ‘not addicted to crack and heroin or allergic to soap) will quickly blow over and let Adele’s music do the talking. Because JUICE has to grudgingly admit that there’s more to Ms Adkins than the detestable media campaign surrounding her.

First off, she’s signed to XL Recordings, the defiant indie that’s home to artists like Dizzee Rascal, Devendra Banhart and MIA, and secondly she seems to have appeared quite ‘organically’, releasing her first single ‘Hometown Glory’ as a limited edition 7″ via fellow nu-troubadour Jamie T’s Pacemaker Recordings label before signing to XL. Then there’s the fact that she’s toured with a lot of people we like, from Banhart to fabulous blind bluesman Raul Midon, who will be here March 15 for Sunburst. Oh, and cartoon cockney Jack Peñate.

Ultimately, it’s acts like Peñate, Kate Nash and Jamie T that she shares more common ground with than Winehouse. Her recent hit single ‘Chasing Pavements’ might have featured a lush string-led arrangement but at heart it’s in the same glottal-stop acoustic vein. The story’s the same with debut album 19 (can you guess how old she is, pop fans?). Mainly acoustic, and driven by Adele’s power-punch of a voice, 19 jumped straight to the top of the UK charts on its release in February.

Will Adele crack up and go down the tortured artist route à la Amy? Adele seems a little more grounded and less eager to run into the limelight – her live shows are legendarily low-key. On the plus side, last year the British media reportedly caught her chucking up out of a taxi window after a Spice Girls concert.

19 by Adele is out now on XL Recordings. For more hit up

Text Matt Armitage