Adele - 21 (2011)

When we first heard Adele she was an unsigned BRIT School grad attempting to make her extraordinary voice and better-than-anyone-her-age-should-be-able-to-write songs heard above the din of a disinterested Camden pub crowd. At the end of her set we stomped out, disgusted with our fellow man's inability to hear what we could hear, and the bouncer on the door stopped us and said, "She's going to be very successful, isn't she?" We don't mind admitting we shed a bit of a tear.
Five years later and we're moist of eye once more thanks to the now very successful Adele having produced a second album that's far better than we ever expected or even needed it to be.
Having been erroneously attributed as the author of Bob Dylan's 'Make You Feel My Love' by numerous X Factor auditionees and YouTube karaoke-ists, Adele's comeback was assured. She could easily have coasted to number one with a retread of the MOR prettiness and breezy soul pop that padded out the majority of debut album '19'. Providing she could write at least one more song as prodigious and moving as London hymn 'Hometown Glory' and turn in another performance as devastatingly resigned as her cover of the aforementioned Bob tune, we'd be happy.
'21' is not that record. In terms of steps up, '21' is to '19' what that fella in '127 Hours' who had to cut his own arm off is to our breathless jog to the top floor of TK Maxx this lunchtime (only without the arm cutting. And we bought a stripy jumper, if you're interested). This is a serious and frequently astonishing album.
Album art: 
Release date: 

1. Rolling in the Deep
2. Rumour Has It
3. Turning Tables
4. Don't You Remember
5. Set Fire to the Rain
6. He Won't Go
7. Take It All
8. I'll Be Waiting
9. One and Only
10. Lovesong
11. Someone Like You
12. If It Hadn't Been For Love
13. Hiding My Heart

Music label: 
XL Recordings
United KIngdom
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