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21 ()

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Adele's 2009 debut album, 19, was a Grammy-winning smash hit that revealed the British singer/songwriter's knack for bittersweet soul and folk-infused love songs that brought to mind an infectious mix of Dusty Springfield and Terry Callier. The album earned her a ton of fans, and interest was high for the inevitable follow-up. In many ways, her sophomore album, the similarly age-appropriate-titled 21, is a continuation of the sounds and themes Adele was working with on 19. She is still the bluesy pop diva with a singer/songwriter's soul and seemingly bottomless capacity for heartbreak. The best thing the album does is to showcase Adele's titanic vocal ability, which -- more than a few times on 21 -- is simply spine-tingling. Last time around we got the gauzy, Callier-esque folk-soul ballad "Daydreamer" to slowly draw us into the album; here, Adele immediately injects us with the propulsive gospel fever-blues anthem "Rolling in the Deep." While the track certainly owes a heavy debt to the punk-blues of Beth Ditto and the Gossip, it is also ridiculously sexy and one of the best singles of any decade. Elsewhere, we get tracks like the blues-inflected Ryan Tedder co-write "Rumour Has It" and the old-school-style soul cut "He Won't Go," which are terrifically catchy, booty-shaking numbers and exactly the kind of songs you want and expect from Adele. Similarly enthralling is the centerpiece of the album, the mega-ballad showstopper "Take It All." Co-written by her "Chasing Pavements" partner Francis White, the song begins with Adele proclaiming "Didn't I give it all?" Delivered starkly at first with Adele set against simple piano accompaniment and later backed by a gospel choir, it's an instant-classic sort of song in the tradition of "The Rose," "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going," and "All by Myself" that could stand over the years as a career landmark for the singer and a cathartic moment for fans who identify with their idol's Pyrrhic lovelorn persona. Ultimately, Adele does give us her all on 21, and for now that is enough. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi Hide synopsis

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Reviews of 21

Overall customer rating: 5.000
Reader Girl

Love This Album

by Reader Girl on Aug 8, 2013

One of my favorites to enjoy while driving. Adele is a refreshing change and brings back some 'old soul'.to modern music. Back-up singers make it all complete.

Scherri O

Exactly what I ordered

by Scherri O on Apr 9, 2012

I received the NEW CD in the time frame I was expecting! I listen to it a lot and love it!

Sandeeelane

Amazing talent!

by Sandeeelane on Mar 16, 2012

I really enjoy her music and the service I received was very fast.

Trisha R

better adele

by Trisha R on Nov 10, 2011

Great music, you can really tell Adele improved in this music, I listen to it just about constantly.

Meagon K

Amazing Adele

by Meagon K on Jun 10, 2011

This is an amazing CD. It's very chill so when your in the moment of relaxation Adele will rescue you and bring you into her world of folky rock jazz sounds of her soul. Enjoy!

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