21

  • Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 619 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 619
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  1. May 29, 2011
    2
    I have absolutely no clue what all the fuss is about. 3 good songs. Overplayed TRIPE.
  2. Nov 17, 2012
    6
    I'm not actually sure about this one. It's very melancholy. I definitely prefer 19. 21 is good but does feature quite a few fillers. Basically, the really good tracks are REALLY good and the fillers are just meh. The ratio of fillers to hits is about 3:1.
  3. Feb 18, 2014
    5
    Adele is respectfully one of the most treasured artists of all time, but i wasn't too keen is album. Some tracks were soulful while the rest were moody, depressing and if I must say, 'boring' ballads. Not for me...
  4. Feb 5, 2012
    9
    It may be a little overrated but Adele and her team did an excellent job with this album. I'd rather hear this playing on the radio than those generic pop songs with lots of autotune and no lyrical content AT ALL. Very well developed though the topic on its lyrics may be a little repetitive, but it's understandable since writing music is what helped her get over her break-up. Very deep andIt may be a little overrated but Adele and her team did an excellent job with this album. I'd rather hear this playing on the radio than those generic pop songs with lots of autotune and no lyrical content AT ALL. Very well developed though the topic on its lyrics may be a little repetitive, but it's understandable since writing music is what helped her get over her break-up. Very deep and emotional. It definitely deserves the awards it has been nominated for. 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"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. Dec 16, 2014
    8
    Perfect vocals, and great songs, this is a wonderful album, a mixed of perfect songs, really really lovelly, one of the best albums od the world.
    Highlights: Turning Tables and Rumour Has It
    Lows: Take It All and One and Only
  7. 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
  8. Oct 1, 2012
    9
    I don't understand why some people are giving a low score to this amazing album. The vocals of Adele are absolutely spectacular and the songs in the album are great. An incredibly fantastic album from Adele........
  9. Jun 29, 2011
    9
    Lady Gaga promised us the album of the decade. Unfortunately, she fell a little short, because Adele already had it. The album isn't perfect. It could use a little diversity, but all in all, our twenty-one year-old heroine is well on her way to becoming the next soul queen, up there with Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Amy Winehouse.
  10. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    This album is literally perfection. If you think so otherwise, please take a minute to listen to these songs while reading the lyrics, and understanding the musical arrangement.
  11. Jul 21, 2012
    10
    Simply amazing the album tells a tale of lost love which is what everybody has felt one time or another the album is master class and from a singer whose voice is so memorising. One of the best albums of all time!
  12. Aug 5, 2012
    7
    I'm sorry with saying this, but '21' is overrated. 12 Songs: 6 songs very good, 6 songs only average. Her voice is fantastic, without a doubt. But honestly, this album could've been much better. Some songs are just too sketchy for me. Yeah, there are all sad love songs and that's also a thing that makes the disk a bit boring to me. Only rage against ex lovers that she still loves. Yeah,I'm sorry with saying this, but '21' is overrated. 12 Songs: 6 songs very good, 6 songs only average. Her voice is fantastic, without a doubt. But honestly, this album could've been much better. Some songs are just too sketchy for me. Yeah, there are all sad love songs and that's also a thing that makes the disk a bit boring to me. Only rage against ex lovers that she still loves. Yeah, Miss Adkins, we've got it now. In other cases, only the music makes the song special. Best Songs:
    Turning Tables
    Rolling In The Deep
    Set Fire To The Rain

    Conclusion:
    This album is really good, don't misunderstand me, but you now, with her voice this could've been much better.
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  13. Dec 21, 2012
    10
    Adele's debut was great but this album is fantastic. Filled with songs - mostly ballads - which make your heart ache and your eyes glisten with tears of how they connect to your life, 21 marks Adele's throne in the heaven of pop music. songs such as Turning Tables and Set Fire To The Rain really make your heart melt whereas Rolling In The Deep, Rumour Has It, and Don't You Remember giveAdele's debut was great but this album is fantastic. Filled with songs - mostly ballads - which make your heart ache and your eyes glisten with tears of how they connect to your life, 21 marks Adele's throne in the heaven of pop music. songs such as Turning Tables and Set Fire To The Rain really make your heart melt whereas Rolling In The Deep, Rumour Has It, and Don't You Remember give you a sudden urge to do something (mostly sing along and try to hit that enormous and amazing note in RITD!). Overall, 21 marks a turning point in Adele's carreer and distinguishes her from other artists such as Celine Dion and Leona Lewis, making her reach summits that are beyond the reaches of others... Expand
  14. Nov 19, 2012
    9
    Unique voice unusual to the industry: a very blues-like female contralto that can belt it like no other. Lyricism is your traditional simplicity, but the music is organic and full of ACTUAL INSTRUMENTS. It's almost like listening to REAL music for once. And let's take a moment to set it in.... 25 million sold. That's more than Maroon 5 in it's lifetime. That's more than Kanye West. That'sUnique voice unusual to the industry: a very blues-like female contralto that can belt it like no other. Lyricism is your traditional simplicity, but the music is organic and full of ACTUAL INSTRUMENTS. It's almost like listening to REAL music for once. And let's take a moment to set it in.... 25 million sold. That's more than Maroon 5 in it's lifetime. That's more than Kanye West. That's more than a lot of people. It's impressive. This one person could bring my faith back into the music industry like Darren Hayes did 10 months later. It's a serious listen to with varying emotion. Some of it does sound very bratty at times, but it's good nonetheless. This is the one of the few times I'd recommend buying the album and being a part of the madness. Expand
  15. Nov 14, 2012
    9
    Thesecond album of Adele reaffirms her fascinating talent, she has beat her skills, the album is better than the first, more mature, more sophisticated, more deep and hard. I love her.
  16. Jan 6, 2013
    7
    21 is a very good album as a whole. But looking at all the acclaim that 21 has garnered for itself, it's not very surprising that it will fall short of many people's expectations.

    Six Grammys aside, was 21 really worth all the media attention; the accolades? The album skilfully deals with one dominant theme in particular; heartbreak. Anger in 'Set Fire to the Rain', sadness in 'Don't
    21 is a very good album as a whole. But looking at all the acclaim that 21 has garnered for itself, it's not very surprising that it will fall short of many people's expectations.

    Six Grammys aside, was 21 really worth all the media attention; the accolades? The album skilfully deals with one dominant theme in particular; heartbreak. Anger in 'Set Fire to the Rain', sadness in 'Don't You Remember', irony in 'Rumour Has It', hopelessness in 'Take it All', revenge in 'Turning Tables', sincerity in 'Someone Like You', so on and so forth. Adele scrutinizes and carefully analyzes the single theme of heartbreak from many different perspectives as she tries to justify each viewpoint. Perfect for sappy little teenagers to quote on Tumblr pretending that it relates to them in one way or another.

    There are some other themes, like in He Won't Go, Lovesong and One and Only, that still deals with love at its most trivial; just barely escaping the topic of heartbreak. But who could claim that these were actually the highlights of the album? Perhaps it was the heartbreaking songs that had put 21 in the limelight, because variety just couldn't have been it. It's great to have an exceptional songwriter every once in a while amidst commercial songstresses like Katy Perry, Rihanna and Britney Spears who barely write their own songs, or Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen who aren't as deep or intelligent as they might seem to be. But it wouldn't kill her to add in a little variety; spice things up a little, in the hopes that maybe, if she's feeling really creative and inspired, she'll even write songs which are not about love! Love is an evergreen topic a composer can rely on, but if one lets their career evolve around the same damn thing, it won't still be entertaining after a while. Now, she could explore with other genres and try out new things; which she hasn't, even since 19. Lady Gaga has been criticized for being so experimental she's losing her signature sound. Marina and the Diamonds and Lana Del Rey have been criticized over repetitive production in Electra Heart and Born to Die respectively. It's fascinating to know how Adele has escaped the critics in this area.

    Her vocals couldn't have been it either. She performs great live, but so would many other popstars today if all they did was stand in front of a microphone and sing while occasionally throwing shade and being a little profane in a British accent.

    You see, when people hear the word 'Adele', they think of heartbreak and sadness. The plump British girl who can sing. Social acceptance, perhaps. All the assumptions start rolling in that she's had a troubled past full of insecure misfit tragedies.

    I've never mentioned that more often than not, pity might have impaired the general public's impression of the album; what you interpret of what I'm writing is solely up to you. Sympathy may have had a role to play in Adele's respected image, but then again, I'm not pointing fingers. Essentially, there will always be off-stream artists who are better than Adele in terms of songwriting and singing, work even harder, and is just waiting for that big break but never really got by to achieve that. Whether or not one feels that her vocals forgive the fact that Someone Like You becomes the most overplayed song of the decade, or whether or not her songwriting justifies that she can still just stand on stage and still be a good performer; will be different for everyone to judge. But it's hard to deny that 21 will make an ideal playlist as for whoever is facing a difficult time getting over someone, or at least aspire to be in that mood for who knows what. While 21 may not fit into that idealist mold you've created for the perfect album you're seeking for, it's worth a listen or two. Not all would be impressed by her long notes and not everyone would appreciate the attention she's put in the little ideas she's came up with while pondering about love. But every now and then it's bound to come to you as 'almost interesting' or 'nearly relates to me'. I still have 21 on my daily playlist; Don't You Remember, Set Fire to the Rain, I'll be Waiting and Rumour has it being one of the better played songs. Adele stays in my music player as one of the well-played crooners beside Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Bruno Mars and ABBA. Ultimately, whether or not I feel that the album is great will not change the fact that I still choose to listen to it everyday. So occasionally I will skip a few Adele tracks to listen to pretentious, manufactured Korean Pop singles, for pretty faces and a catchy beat are more than enough to grab my attention for a while.
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  17. Feb 19, 2013
    10
    A great album The singer sang the deepness feeling for her heart ''Rolling in the deep'' and ''someone like you'' are my favourite songs An amazing vocals with wide feeling expressions.
  18. Jun 21, 2014
    10
    For all those stupid people who talked bad about my beautIful Adele : you can all go **** your self **** this album is a 101% the best!!!!!!!!!! Daydreamers hold me
  19. Oct 13, 2013
    10
    21 is an instant classic of an album. Adele has an incredible voice and her talent for songwriting is undeniable. Nobody should ever get tired of any song on this album.
  20. Nov 2, 2014
    10
    This album is flawless. The songwriting is impeccable, and the production is superb. Every person who experienced love and heartbreak in his life can relate to this album. The songs vary from rage (Rolling In The Deep) to sorrow (Don't You Remember) to the state of being hopeful (I'll be waiting) and finally to the phase of forgiveness and moving on (Someone Like You). It's never boring,This album is flawless. The songwriting is impeccable, and the production is superb. Every person who experienced love and heartbreak in his life can relate to this album. The songs vary from rage (Rolling In The Deep) to sorrow (Don't You Remember) to the state of being hopeful (I'll be waiting) and finally to the phase of forgiveness and moving on (Someone Like You). It's never boring, it makes your heart skip a beat with each song. It's a brilliant record. Expand
  21. Jul 23, 2011
    7
    Quite a bit more uneven than her first album, but there's some standouts here for me: "Rolling in the Deep" "Turning Tables" "Someone Like You". What always stands out, even on the less memorable pieces, is Adele's stunning voice: she is one of the most vocally talented musicians out there today.
  22. Oct 25, 2011
    8
    I think Adele is a great vocalist, that will affect and inspire many from now and on! And I can see it in the album!!!Such songs as Rolling in the deep, Someone like you, Turning Tables, Don't you remember and One and only are surely worth to be listed as highlights on the album as they bring such an emotion that you couldn't expect from a 22 year-old woman!The rest is nice but not perfect!
  23. Apr 3, 2012
    5
    Adele intrigues us with something new for the first two songs, but then it all fades away into boring and banal same old-same old melodies about a cliché - he left her, now she's sad. Adele could have just put "Someone Like You" instead of the most part of the album, and the effect would have been be the same
  24. Nov 28, 2013
    10
    One of my favorite artists of all time, soulful, true to herself, genuine, moving, and every track is so enjoyable and wonderful, done with so much respect to original artists when a cover is done I love you Adele!
  25. Dec 19, 2014
    10
    Best album of the decade.                                                    
  26. 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 definitionThis 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Mar 13, 2011
    10
    Adele has a talent that people wish they had. You can't help but fall in love with this album after you listen to it once. Adele is a true artist and you will not be disappointed purchasing 21.
  30. Apr 28, 2011
    9
    The thing about pop music is that it has roots in any genre, and of course, some might appeal for marketing, leaving it all too over-flooded by scheme productions, and some might leave their influential essences on it. In that case, Adele fits perfectly as some bluesy and soul influenced who got a way to make it sound radio friendly and melodically fitting for popular taste. That's whatThe thing about pop music is that it has roots in any genre, and of course, some might appeal for marketing, leaving it all too over-flooded by scheme productions, and some might leave their influential essences on it. In that case, Adele fits perfectly as some bluesy and soul influenced who got a way to make it sound radio friendly and melodically fitting for popular taste. That's what pop's all about, to captivate people with its own, though, commercial style. Well, â Expand
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. Mojo
    Apr 20, 2011
    60
    The Brit School girl undergoes a successful soul-pop makeover. [Feb. 2011, p. 108]
  3. 70
    On her sophomore album, 21, Adele channels real emotion and blasts through sincere ballads and angry rockers with few missteps.