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21
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New or Used: $10.00
Album: 21
# Song Title   Time
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
 
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Adele (vocals).
  • Recording information: AirStudios, London, England; Angel Studios, London, England; Eastcote Studios, London, England; Harmony Studios, West Hollywood, CA; metropolis Studios, London, England; Myaudiotonic Studios, London, England; Patriot Studios, Denver, CO; Serenity Sound, Hollywood, CA; Shangri La Studios, Malibu, CA; Sphere Studios, London, England; Wendyhouse Productions, London, England.
  • Editor: Dana Nielsen.
  • Photographer: Lauren Dukoff.
  • 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
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Adele has toughened her tone, trimmed the jazz frippery and sounds ready for a pub fight....When the grooves are fierce, Adele gives as good as she gets."

Rolling Stone (p.67) - Ranked #1 in Rolling Stone's '50 Best Albums Of 2011' -- "21 was this year's most stunning pop success....The sound is state-of-the-art retro soul..."

Spin (p.75) - "[S]he wails harder and writes bolder, piling on the dramatic production flourishes to suggest a lover's apocalypse."

Entertainment Weekly (p.83) - "[T]his album is that rarest pop commodity: timeless." -- Grade: A-

Entertainment Weekly (p.99) - Ranked #1 in Entertainment Weekly's 'The Top 10 Albums Of 2011' -- "21 features a rare thing: a singer who can seriously sing, belting out inspired love songs inspired by another time on an album that feels genuinely timeless."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'Rolling In The Deep' sounds thrillingly like a girl group govering Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy,' 'Rumour Has It' is a driving, bluesy stomp and 'Take It All' has Aretha written all over it."

Paste (magazine) - "On 21, she sounds refreshed and poised to attack....Adele emerges with a well-manicured batch of songs that, while still showcasing her interest in layered musicality, shoot straight for the pop charts..."

Clash (magazine) - "Adele is sincere, poignant and affecting throughout; the emotive 'Someone Like You' closes the album magnificently."
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