Songwriters: Adele Adkins, Dan Wilson
David Nail is a great singer. “Someone Like You” is a great song. It logically follows that a solid record would result.
Is it better than Adele’s original Grammy-winning pop hit version? No. That would be setting the bar mighty high. Nail doesn’t take substantial creative liberties with Adele’s song either, not bothering to shoehorn in any fiddle or steel, but keeping it as a simple piano ballad very much in the vein of the original. And who knows, maybe that’s the way to go – too much of an overhaul could have wound up a disaster.
The crucial point is that Nail renders Adele’s lyric with nuance and sincere emotion, adapting the song to his own vocal style without mimicking any aspects of Adele’s delivery (though it does feel slightly jarring to hear “…you’re married now” sung in an American accent). He doesn’t over-sing the song, which is probably the biggest mistake one could make. His performance is colored with deep shades of regret similar to that which made Adele’s performance of the song connect with such a wide audience.
Nail has released his version of “Someone Like You” as a music video, and has included his recording of it on his recently released 1979 EP. As of now, the track has not been released to radio. But if David Nail were to be the vehicle for such a fine song to find its way onto country airwaves, I would raise no complaint.