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>Dam I had this still saved in my New Posts section for two weeks now. So okay here we go (I actually saw this CD at Starbucks today so maybe that was a sign).

Anyway, Adele‘s first album “19” was honestly at times boring but overall it was a really solid album, and most importantly it exposed the world to her talents which were beyond most of her competitors (*cough Amy Winehouse). Her vocals, her vocal control, her creative and unique runs, her flawless tone. Just listening to the very first track off that album shows she has all the potential in the world.
Two years later she comes back the with the appropriately titled (if not a little lazy) “21”, and she has definitely stepped up her game. The biggest difference is the bigger and bolder production value of the songs. It has a nice Motown 60’s sound, but also more in touch with the blues and jazz stuff she obviously is into. This bigger production almost begs for her to fill the music with her big and bolder voice, and she does, effortlessly. The first single “Rolling the Deep” is a great example, a lesser singer would totally get drowned out with all the soulful instrumentation, same for “Rumor Has It”. While I applaud her for tackling more uptempo numbers on here (there were hardly ANY on her debut), she really comes alive on the ballads. “Turning Tables”, her cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” are phenomenal in that she shows restraint but shows her full potential at the same time. “Set Fire to the Rain” is easily the best song on the album though, it’s intense, it’s lyrics are thoughtful and creative, and she elevates just like the production.
“21” still isn’t like, the BEST album ever released, but it’s definitely a great follow up and solidifies Adele as an artist who truly stands above the rest vocally.

Rating: 4 of 5
Best: “Set Fire To The Rain“, “Rolling In the Deep“, “Lovesong