21 - Adele
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21 Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 357 Ratings

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  • Summary: The British singer’s sophomore album is full of soul and pop rhythms, comparable to Amy Winehouse and Duffy.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Jan 27, 2011
    100
    21 is simply stunning. After only a handful of plays, it feels like you've always known it.
  2. Mar 4, 2011
    90
    There's not a slacker in the bunch on 21, which is hard enough for many an artist to pull off at 31 – or even 51 – much less at an age when they're still too young to rent a car on their own
  3. Jan 27, 2011
    80
    A progressive, grown-up second collection, it ought to ensure Adele is around for 23, 25, 27 and beyond.
  4. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Hearing a voice that grows scratchy and threatens to break and has not been tampered with, has not been slicked over in a studio, a voice that reveals all that can be found within a person and also seems to hold something back, to suggest another truth just behind the veil.
  5. Feb 1, 2011
    70
    For all of her posturing and ruminations on life, love and other such considerations, you may well ask yourself whether she is merely playing a part and recycling old themes or if she has the experience she so eloquently sings about.
  6. Apr 7, 2011
    70
    Her sound is undeniably more mature than what you would typically expect from a 21-year-old, but tracks like "Don't You Remember" make you wonder if the overall vibe is more mature than it should be.
  7. 40
    Things begin well enough with the single "Rolling in the Deep", with its thumping piano quadruplets and gospelly backing vocals, and continues reasonably with the galumphing Tom Waits-style arrangement of "Rumour Has It"; until, two-thirds of the way through the song, it grinds to a halt for a slower, torchy middle eight.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 98
  2. Negative: 19 out of 98
  1. Mar 1, 2011
    10
    This album is amazing! She has completely grew up and i am proud of her. The songs "Someone Like You" and "Turning Tabels" for example, shows how talent she is. To me, this album is 10 out of 10. Expand
  2. Mar 4, 2011
    10
    This is the best album of this year so far. All of the songs here are well-written and full of emotion that the audience can easily relate themselves to. With an instant classic and Grammy-nominated potential album like 21, I really cannot believe why it got only 76 points. All the mixed reviews are full of hatred and maybe the people who wrote those reviews need to check their definition of what is called " true music " ! Expand
  3. Nov 17, 2012
    8
    Oh, dear reader, I still stand by my belief that Adele is massively overrated. I still believe that the magazines and public idea that Adele is great for Expand
  4. Feb 28, 2011
    7
    Adele's voice works great throughout the album, saving a couple of the songs which are aren't worthy of her pipes. All in all though, a much needed better return from her first album "19" - which I thought was sappy. Expand
  5. Mar 24, 2012
    6
    "21" is the most successful album of the digital era, and we will probably never see any other album acquire this success. It will most likely reach the "Diamond" certification in the US very soon, being the first album since 2004 Usher's "Confessions" to do so. But does the album deserve all the success that it's getting? No one can deny the incredibly talented singer that it's Adele. Not many artists in the pop scene can own the stage only with their voices, and Adele is perfectly capable of doing so. If I were to grade Adele herself, she would probably get excellent score, but "21" is not that good. The album shares Adele's feelings after a breakup with her former boyfriend, and I think the record suffers of "extreme depression" being "Rumour Has It" the only song that it's not some kind of ballad. This is not necessarily bad at all, but it becomes a problem when most of the songs in the record are dull and forgettable. In my opinion "21" has 4 or 5 extremely good songs, that would make super successful singles (and in fact they have). But the rest of the record is not that good, unfortunately. I think Adele's success has more to do with how refreshing her sound is compared to what's on mainstream radio all day, her mind blowing performances, her interesting persona and of course, her great singles than with the quality of the album. However, it's a midly solid sophomore effort, and now that she is on top of the world I hope she can outdo herself and deliver an amazing third record. Everybody will look at her and that's a lot of pressure, but she has the talent to make it.

    Highlights: Rolling in the Deep, Set Fire to the Rain, Someone Like You, Turning Tables
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  6. Nov 12, 2012
    0
    Morose, Dull, Uninspiring, Middle of the road, Non-offensive blandness. Of course everyone is drawn to her as shes a stripped down pseudo soul-pop singer who popped up as a counter to the over the top electro-pop trend, right place right time. Imagine if she released this album in the mist of the mid 00s when this stuff was all over the place, no one would bat an eyelid..much like her first album as a matter of fact.
    A great songwriter she is not (for one read the amount of songwriters credited on each song, not so personal as she claims) the lyrics are nothing that Alanis Morrisette or Liz Phair have done before, and Adeles lacking the punch and passion of the former. Instead were met with a collection of easy listening flat instrumentation with cliche break lyrics knitted to very standard Melody.
    Adele was among a batch of artists in the UK that came about after Amy Winehouses Back to Black had got big alongside Duffy and Gabrielle Cilmi, Adele timed her release just right and she filled the hole for when Amy Winehouse died to claim the throne of queen of the middle of the road pop. Not too cheesy to alienate parents, not too retro to alienate the teenagers. The music being artistically flat has no bearing on what people are looking for in Adele. Why have groundbreaking, experimental and challenging music when you have this teenage-white girl singing mature orientated songs? I think peoples admiration of her is more down to the fact that she lost a load of weight, rather than her raw lyrical output. Lets see where she is come release of her next album.
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See all 98 User Reviews

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