21 - Adele
  • Band Name: Adele
  • Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 364 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 364

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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 20, 2011
    3
    I don't understand a single person who could survive listening to all 11 tracks on the album. It's all pretty much about the same thing, love, break up, depressing and all the rest of it. On on album you expect variety but this one. Just the same track repeated over and over with different lyrics. If you wanna listen to depressing screeches for 48:12 straight go ahead and pick up a copy of 21. If you want variety. Forget it. Expand
  3. Apr 9, 2011
    3
    Boring as hell. Rolling in the Deep is a really nice song, but the rest are so boring. She has a beautiful voice and she could do so much better with it,
  4. Jan 16, 2012
    4
    Mediocre and pretentious work, nothing musically creative, low quality production, the only really good songs on the entire album are Rolling In The Deep and Set Fire To The Rain. Even though Great vocals and beautiful lyrics. Obviously overrated.
  5. Jul 9, 2012
    7
    It won't surprise you to know that the best songs on '21' are "Rolling In The Deep" and "Someone Like You" - their position at the beginning and end of the album makes the remaining 10 songs feel slightly overshadowed and inadequate. However "Rumour Has It", "Turning Tables" and "Set Fire To The Rain" (surprise, surprise, the other singles from the album) do stand out and help to amend the more repetitive, forgettable tracks. Adele's stunning voice and flawless lyrics creates something so relatable and meaningful that the hype surrounding this arguably overrated album is easily forgiven. If you've ever had your heart broken then you need this album and while that does justify the monotony of the tracks it doesn't rectify it. Expand
  6. Apr 6, 2011
    3
    On hearing 'Rolling in the Deep' on the local alternative station, I decided to download the album. This ended up being a major disappointment. Besides the single, there was nothing exciting or fresh to be excited about. To me is was just pop with a tinge of blues and soul, with no real originality being put into it. No suprise here it's been number 1 on iTunes for so long...
  7. Mar 27, 2012
    4
    With all the praise surrounding this piece, it falls suprisingly flat for me. Even after a few listens, I have trouble distinguishing between songs. All of the tracs deal with the same subjects : Heartbreak, Love, Betrayal. I can appreciate the depth of emotion in this record, however, to describe it in one word...it's boring. That's it.
  8. 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
  9. May 30, 2011
    9
    an album full of soul that doesn't rely on hype to be successful. Adele has shown everyone that all you actually need is a voice and a good song filled with emotion and class. one of the best albums of the year and the best voice right now and i'm so glad she received this amount of success.
  10. Jul 5, 2011
    9
    I'll sum up my review with the word "heartbreak", for various reasons. When one decides to give "21" a listen, they'll find that most of the songs evolve around the theme of heartbreak. The lyrics are dep, insightful, and poetic, without ever lapsing into pretension. Adele's voice (already known for it's flawlessness) is in top form here, as she moves from soft emotion to belted power with perfection. She sings with soul and blues that come from a past age while remaining entirely relevant. The result is heartbreaking for the listener, as that pitch-perfect voice helps dig out emotions that you may not usually feel. Finally, the album's major flaw also deals with heartbreak: there's too much of it. While the album is brilliant, it does become repetitive, with almost every song being a depressed, emotional cry for love. However, this is a minor flaw that can be overlooked. "21" is brilliant. Expand
  11. Feb 24, 2011
    10
    OK first off.. Amy and Duffy?? wth are you smoking..
    This woman is in a class of her own and a truly rare talent.
    I preordered her latest release and im blown away...It will leave you captivated and wanting more.
  12. 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 what pop's all about, to captivate people with its own, though, commercial style. Well, â Expand
  13. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    Compared to 19, this albumâ
  14. Aug 8, 2011
    0
    Crap. Chicks voice is cracking all over the place. Not a good singer. Don't waste your time, it's not worth it. Totally overrated, not seeing the fuss whatsoever
  15. Dec 20, 2011
    6
    With all of the buzz surrounding this I thought I had to check it out. After hearing a few songs I realized that I had already heard them on the radio or something and that I liked them. Then I listened to the rest, and decided that its not bad, but that its not something I am going to listen to on my own time either. But then I stumbled across the metacritic's critic top ten picks for music in 2011, and was flabbergasted. I mean this, really? Come on it is not that good, not good enough for that many critics to pick it number 1. Then I found myself wanting to give this album a really low score just cus critics are for some reason picking this over the black keys' new album el camino(my favorite album right now). But I stopped myself, it bugs me when other people do it, so i wont either. However, next time I hear an Adele song on the radio, I think I am just going to change to another station. Expand
  16. Oct 28, 2011
    3
    I want to say that I love Adele! But the album sounds all the same, Set fire to the rain, Someone like you and Don't you remember are beautiful songs, but the rest is all the same and I want to add that rolling in the deep is a terrible song. BORN THIS WAY IS SO BETTER! IS THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE! so maybe all the people is buying the album but I will not do that because it don't worth the money! XO! Expand
  17. Jun 29, 2011
    0
    This is a very boring album! it has 4 good songs! And when i hear the album i might fall asleep. It is not radio material, but the grammy voters eat albums like this up! In my opinion Born this way deserves album of the year but 21 is a good choice as well !
  18. Sep 4, 2011
    1
    2 good songs! Someone Like You and Set Fire To The Rain. Nothing else is good! Rolling in the deep is kinda good. Besides that nothing!!!! Hope she makes a better 3rd album!
  19. Nov 14, 2011
    9
    The albums sound a tad bit repeatitive, but listen to the lyrics and the vocal perfomance and you help to appreciate the album, my standout tracks are Someone Like You, Rolling IN The Deep, Rumor Has It, Turning Table, and the impressive vocal performance of Dont You Remember.
  20. Feb 3, 2012
    10
    Adele is such a good artist. Beautiful voice and music and she's the 2nd best singer (The Weeknd is the first). I bought this album for my mom and she loved it i checked it out it was one of the best albums of 2011
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Jun 19, 2011
    8
    A great change from what we usually see in the charts. "Rolling In the Deep" was a great choice as a first single, as it made me get the album as soon as I could. Love it.
  24. Apr 9, 2011
    10
    Just after listening to it once, I became addicted to the album. Definitely one of my all-time favourites. Songs like 'Rolling in the Deep', 'Someone Like You' and 'Set Fire to the Rain' are main highlights of this album.
  25. 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!
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. May 28, 2011
    10
    You will worship this album... in fact, you already are but you don't know. Like a critic said, after listening a few times to the album, you'll feel like you always knew them. This is quite true. If you loved 19, 21 will make you forget it quite fast.
  29. May 25, 2011
    10
    I loved the un-pretentiousness and softness of the album. Love it! Adele has a unique voice, but in a few songs she reminds me on P!nk - and that's not a bad thing!
  30. May 2, 2012
    0
    Very bad album. Adele has a nice voice, but the lyrics and melody are suck. My mother make better lyrics than Adele and her producers...........................
  31. Aug 14, 2011
    10
    Adele never lets you down. You know, Adele gives you the "clean, high quality, polished" music feeling when you listen. Some songs are ear-worms, some are classics that won't be forgotten. And in this era full of bubbly-pop, Adele is like a refreshment.
  32. Nov 14, 2011
    9
    Beautiful voice; powerful and meaningful. All the songs are very heart-warming and touching. However, I found the songs rather repetitive. Other than that, it is a perfect album. The song that stood out to me the most was 'Someone Like You' - such a heart-breaking song. A simple piano accompaniment was a fantastic decision to show off Adele's gorgeous vocals. Great job, keep it up!
  33. Nov 16, 2011
    9
    The 'IT' girl of the year is an unlikely pop princess. Bolstered more by her talents than her looks and 'gimmicks', Adele brings in memories of pop powerhouse 'Dione Warwick', and soulful singer 'Aretha Franklin'. She is essentially the anti-'Lady Gaga'. 21 cemented her place as one of the best singer in the business right now, with some of the best vocal performance in recent memory. One of the year's best album. Expand
  34. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    It's amazing. It's as simple as that. Her voice is so soulful and beautiful, it cannot NOT touch you in some way. The orchestration and the piano suit her perfectly.
    Both her albums are absolute must-buys.
  35. May 30, 2012
    1
    Adele Makes Me Mad..
    Yes We Get It She Can Sing.. I Dont Like It That Everyone Says "Adele Is The Only Current Artist Who Can Carry A Tune Live" Hello People Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Florence And The Machine?
    The Album Is Nothing Special At All Is The Most Overated Album Of All Time! This Album Win's 5 Or 6 Grammys Florence And The Machine Is Ignored..
  36. Dec 15, 2012
    10
    21 is absolutely stunning, for me is one of the best albums of all times. Adele has a magnificent vintage voice and her songs are simply amazing. Love songs like Don't You Remember, Someone Like You, Hiding My Heart and One And Only show the incredible capacity of Adele to do lyrics about love, the most beautiful but painful thing in the world. All the songs are brilliantly produced. I was waiting for a album like for a long time. Adele is in my opinion, one of the best artists ever in the music history. Expand
  37. 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
  38. Feb 23, 2011
    8
    This has to be one of the best albums to come out in a few years!!! Adele is a true artist, someone who writes from her heart and soul! This whole album is perfect to listen to if you're going through a break-up! Just sit back and let those tears flow :) The production on this album is tight! I give it 8/10
  39. Jul 18, 2012
    9
    Absolutely stunning. Though I think there's so much "heartbreaking" topics in the album, Adele's powerful voice really makes the day! The most particular thing is the incredible Adele's capacity to go through different types of styles, as we can see in "Set Fire to the Rain" and "Don't you remember". So far, one of the most incredible albums ever in the 21 st century! (Album's name says it: "21")
  40. Apr 18, 2011
    9
    Adele's previous album â
  41. 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........
  42. 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.
  43. Oct 20, 2011
    7
    Aside from 21's biggest problem -- its insistence on recycling the same sound throughout its short eleven-track course -- Adele's phenomenal and almost magical voice and lyrical melodrama make this album one of the most enchanting listens of 2011.
  44. Aug 3, 2011
    9
    There's a reason this album has been so popular this year. Lead off single Rolling In the Deep and Set Fire to the Rain show off the raw power of her voice, infusing elements of rock and blues. Meanwhile, songs like Someone Like You showcase her emotional vulnerability (she actually sounds like she's crying). Though those three are the best songs, the other songs are mostly good, too. The middle of the album drags a little bit, since it is very ballad-heavy, but overall very good, and a big improvement over 19. Collapse
  45. Aug 23, 2011
    8
    Adele. She's truly been a breath of fresh air this year. She's managed to let her slower songs take over peoples playlists in a time where dance songs run rampant. She's managed to bridge the gap and appeal to both young audiences and the older adult audience. Her strong voice and mopey sad love songs ave captivated many. "21" is a really solid album. Adele manages to drag you into her pit of despair. What's remarkable is her ability to get the audience to genuinely understand and feel for her. I do need to point out that she gets screechy a few times (it's noticeable on "I'll Be Waiting.") The standout on the album is most definitely "Set Fire to the Rain." Its one of the greatest songs I've come across this year. Its powerful and epic which makes it the black sheep of the album but it strangely finds it place and fits. Expand
  46. Aug 29, 2011
    7
    A very soulful and powerful album, mostly revolving around breakup. Adele packs quite a punch with her stunning vocals. It is probably the most moving and touching album of the year... so far.
  47. Dec 12, 2011
    9
    One of the best albums of 2011, Great audio quality,mixing & production. I'm a metalhead and audio engineer, this is not really my style of music but it's still a great album with a great production. Haters gonna h8.
  48. Nov 23, 2011
    10
    I "LOVE" this album........
    I think this is the best album i had ever listened to!
    Adele such an inspiration and a great singer as well. Everything about Adele is just wonderful . She really has the talent. Well done Adele ! 21 fabulous album forever â
  49. 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
  50. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This album has surprised me very positively for the take Adele has on its major themes. Vocally and lyrically, it is a great album as well. Her voice in "Don't You Remember" and "Someone Like You" makes 21 worth listening already. "Rumor Has It" and "Lovesong" are very interesting tracks in terms of experimentation, I'd say. They are responsible for giving the album its most important moments of breathing in a sea of pop/soul-oriented songs. The lyrics are strong at most and very touching in some tracks, especially in "Set Fire to the Rain", "Take It All", and "Rolling in the Deep". Despite being a 100% reflection of a bad relationship, Adele's different approaches to singing her lack of luck in love make this album something one should not ignore. It may sound over the top saying that, but this album sounds as the savior of pop song in 2011, a year with major acts relying too much on how to do whatever on the dance floor, instead of thinking about anything else - not to mention all the auto tune "divas" we were exposed to throughout the year. Expand
  51. Jan 15, 2012
    10
    Without a doubt 21 is a masterpiece. The flowing integrity of the album is simply astounding, starts with the singers breakup, progresses to loneliness, and eventually accepts everything. Rarely does an artist spill their heart onto an album, and make it pleasurable for the listener, it includes up-beat meaningful tunes that pull on emotional cords, all combined with a magical voice.
  52. Jan 23, 2012
    7
    21 is Adele's sophomore album after "19". It is a compilation of love ballads, about Adele's relationship fallout. The album was produced by a number of producers, "Ryan Tedder", being one of them.
    Adele's sophomore attempt is a huge success. Adele showcases the raw, spine-chilling, power of her beautiful voice among tracks like "Someone Like You", "Turning Tables" and "Set Fire To the
    Rain". Her vocal performance on the 80s rendition-like "Rolling In The Deep" is amazing, and is one of the standouts of the album. Adele's songwriting ability is also to be given a tremendous amount of appreciation. Her heartfelt lyrics on "Someone Like You", and "Rumor Has It" is impressive, and shows her maturity as a songwriter.
    On the other hand, the album's depressing mood may not appeal to everyone, with most of the songs sounding the same, somewhat because of the production. Adele's voice may be the only thing that makes songs like "Rumor Has It", and "He won't Go" listen-worthy.
    Nevertheless, 21 is a great album that features great tracks, but its monotonous themes and depressing mood makes it far less epic than it is made out to be. Adele's third album will be the decider to judge how versatile she is as an artist, or whether she can only stick to the same breakup ballads as "21".
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  53. Jan 20, 2012
    8
    On her debut '19', Adele sounded like a childish confused brat but on '21' she delivers some really diverse and touching songs, strong, emotional lyrics and her matured, powerful voice. The production is miles ahead of her debut, making this sound more comfortable and less insecure than you could have imagined. Adele's tales of heartbreak are likely to reach out to many, but for now we can just celebrate how good a musician Adele has become. Expand
  54. 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 and emotional. It definitely deserves the awards it has been nominated for. Expand
  55. Apr 14, 2012
    4
    Her voice is so beautiful, but most of these songs are really depressing or boring, Rolling in The Deep is, in my opinion, the only catchy and good song from this album.
  56. 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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  57. Mar 25, 2012
    7
    Without any incredible sounds, without any incredible video and without any fashion style Adele made a good album, for all the ages. Congrats. ( sorry for my English )
  58. Mar 26, 2012
    7
    Good album. Some of the songs feel a little repetitive on repeat listens. Her silky voice commands attention. But after a while the songs are a bit 'samesy'
  59. Mar 31, 2012
    10
    What a great album.Adele puts her heart and soul into this album.Great songs from Rolling in the Deep to Rumour Has It this is something to hear.21 is a album that you will love.Adele is a amazing singer.This is something you will enjoy and worth your money.
  60. May 19, 2012
    10
    No amount of classy stylish production can hide the power and stunning beauty of the voice here. What a fabulous collection of songs. Even the cover version of the great Cure track is great!
  61. 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.
  62. Jun 25, 2012
    0
    Overrated garbage. Adele can sing but this album is just awful ! the only song i liked was Rolling In The Deep which got annoying after radios overplaying it.
  63. 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!
  64. 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, 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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  65. 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 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
  66. 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'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
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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
    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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  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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!
  73. Mar 30, 2011
    8
    The maturity with which she delivers these 11 songs is astonishing, brought to life by her undeniable vocal ability and a commitment to deliver beautifully crafted songs without ever having to resort to calculated melodrama. Adele has without doubt, come of age.

    http://hackskeptic.com
  74. Jun 24, 2011
    5
    I Like This Album Better Than 21, But Adele Has Real Talent... Rolling In The Deep Is A Great, Creative Song... Some Of The Other Songs Are Nice, But Sound Alot Alike.... In My Opinion Adele Should Keep To Fast Pop Like Rolling In The Deep... She Can Still Have Slow Songs, Just More Fast Songs To! Adele You Have Talent...
  75. Feb 6, 2012
    10
    Although Foo Fighters' "Wasting Light" was my favourite album of 2011, Adele's "21" crosses, age and gender lines to create a solid album which everyone can enjoy. Her voice is majestic, the lyrical quality is transcendent and the music is catchy as hell. While the Foo's may have made my favourite album, Adele has made the best record of 2011. Great music is BACK.
  76. May 14, 2012
    8
    While it lacks the peculiar charm "19" had, her immensely powerful vocals sweep the floor. Less bluesy and jazzy and more leaning towards Pop, "21" is a step in the right direction despite losing some of the original pep. "21" is less pep, and more sass, which is by no means bad - just different.
  77. Sep 25, 2014
    8
    A solid and generally enjoyable album, plenty of easy to listen to songs sung with what has to be acknowledged as a fabulous voice. The curtain raising Rolling in the Deep and closer Someone Like You are by far the highlights. Sandwiched in between these are 9 soul/pop tracks that vary in both quality and originality. I feel the first and final thirds of the album are the stronger parts with a dull middle section. There are shows of obvious talent in parts while there is also some stuff which I could only describe as lounge music. Not what I'd call an essential record but at the same time very much worth a listen and it really does have some gems on it. "Rolling In The Deep" is a truly great song and has it all - vocals, tune, production - a real anthem. Maybe Adele suffers a little from what I'd call U2 syndrome - talented and deservedly hugely successful but also overplayed to saturation point which makes it difficult to appreciate just how good the songs are after a while. You get to the stage where you become numb to the songs. If she was undiscovered she'd be one of these cult artists. Expand
  78. Oct 15, 2012
    5
    It gave me mixed feelings while listening to it. Only 4 songs (Rolling In The Deep, Set Fire To The Rain, Someone Like You, Rumour Has It) make this album somehow interesting, the rest of them are so monotonous. I just cannot understand why it is so much overrated. OK, Adele is a good artist with a nice voice but this overexposure of her really makes me wonder why. An average job.
  79. Jul 13, 2012
    5
    Million dollar voice, totally generic songwriting. It doesn't venture into any waters that haven' been sailed through a thousand times before by soul and R&B singer, and the cliche lyrics and backing instrumentation fail to prop up the songs here. Adele has little to say beyond examining a failed past relationship. She'd be more tolerable if Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine wasn't doing the female British singer act so much better at the same time. Expand
  80. 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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  81. Apr 14, 2013
    2
    Nothing good here at all. Personally, I don't like her voice. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SAME THING. Rumor Has It is one of the worst songs I've EVER heard. Rolling In The Deep was alright, average at best. Just a screechy over-rated album.
  82. Jan 11, 2014
    1
    All filler, no killer. 21 is the most overhyped, depressingly boring and uninspiringly dull album ever released by anybody ever - the cover of The Cure hit Lovesong makes the original sound like the "happiest song ever". Sure some of the other singles are slightly better in quality but the filler songs are exactly as described - filler. There is nothing interesting about this album, its a waste of time and space when there are far better musicians out there that sing the exact same types of songs but with more interest and excitement, why everybody decided to go "emo" and buy this is anyone's guess. (Note, no this is not an "emo" album but its the only way I can describe it (its like the Mad World cover that was Xmas No. 1 back in 2003) since its so depressing it would make optimists jump off buildings). Expand
  83. Apr 28, 2013
    0
    well, i dont like her, i dont like this album, and i hate how it is overrated... i just hope she comes with something GOOD in her next album, not about ex and cheatting sh*t
  84. Jul 13, 2013
    8
    Chasing pavements inevitably leads someone somewhere, and in the case of twenty-three year-old Adele it’s taken her to a place everyone’s been to: the alley of broken hearts. Inspired by a devastating break-up the singer’s sophomore record, 21, weaves music and lyrics in such a precise way that the heartache becomes almost vicarious to the listener. Like most songs on her debut album, tracks on 21 are produced in a simple and basic manner to allow the vocals to shine through; only this time the album doesn’t sound as optimistic and trend-influenced as 19, which was released months after the enormous success of fellow British singer Amy Winehouse.

    21 doesn’t remind the listener of any other record because, on first listen, the album is too relatable; the brain leaves no space for recollection but for one’s own struggles with love. The (slightly overproduced) mid-tempo “Set Fire to the Rain” sets a battlefield for contradictory emotions and captures the album’s main essence: an exploration of masochistic self-conflicts while attempting to move on from destructive relationships. Partially retrospective (“My hands, they were strong /But my knees were far too weak /To stand in your arms /Without falling to your feet”), the song oscillates between piano-driven verses filled with hope for reconciliation and a lushly-arranged, self-liberating chorus with belting raspy vocals.

    21’s first single, “Rolling in the Deep,” kicks off with a throbbing, threatening beat as Adele marches away from this draining romance. A fusion of epic pop hooks, blues’y rhythms and gospel clap this revenge anthem disavows any chances for ‘making up.’ On “Turning Tables,” an acoustic tune where the piano and strings contribute to the narrative just as much as the evocative lyrics and raw soulful vocals, the singer confirms her final decision (“It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables”).

    Despite the rage portrayed by the invading, aggressive beats and intense vocals in the first few tracks the record’s last song, the piano-and-vocal somber ballad “Someone Like You,” expresses hope for outgrowing the pain. Sounding more vulnerable than ever, Adele travels to the future where she’s forgiven her former lover to say a final bittersweet goodbye.
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  85. 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
  86. Aug 14, 2013
    2
    It seems that I am the only one who dislikes Adele. I guess it just isn't my genre or something, but I am not impressed with this. The only decent song is "Rumour Has It".
  87. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    This will probably be one of the most well known albums throughout music history. With over 22 million copies worldwide, the stunning vocals and music of this album have left a stain on the Earth that will not be cleaned up for quite a few years
  88. Nov 18, 2013
    9
    This is obviously a better album than her debut effort. The sound is interesting, from the mid-tempo "Rumour Has It" to the piano ballad "Someone Like You". While being very appealing, the album manages to tell a story of a then-21 years old Adele pretty well. Seeing from how well the album is selling (I think no album has sold like this since the age of piracy began), it will absolutely be remembered for decades or even maybe centuries. Expand
  89. Apr 13, 2014
    8
    It's hard to say that you really really like all the track an album offers you, but this was my case: I've enjoyed and loved them all! At some point they sound a bit like the same in structure or lyrics, but 21 is clearly an album that has to be heard and taken as one of the greatest achievements of 21st century music. Adele (with her brilliant and peculiar voice, her strong feelings and the sorrow she constantly expresses) has made a remarkable job. So all the excellent critics are well deserved. We'll be waiting for what's coming next, but I truly doubt that any future material can compare to this one. Expand
  90. 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...
  91. Dec 10, 2013
    0
    boring boring boring and boring, everything about this album is boring. Adele have an amazing voice but this album sucks!! it could be better if she stopped to talk about her break up in every song.
  92. Aug 25, 2014
    7
    Even though Adele has left the teenage image behind, embracing a new level of the same concept, 21's catchy singles overshine other very good songs, emphasizing a poorly distributed climax throughout the album (which also gives one the possibility of cutting the album in half without affecting its quality) and enhancing the expectations over the singer for a killer third album.
  93. May 30, 2014
    10
    "21" marked the transition for Adele from well-known singer to international pop singer, and this album shows you why. The songs are just magnificent and her voice is just breathtakingly beautiful.
  94. Sep 14, 2014
    9
    Adele shows her genius once more in a different way on the album 21. While it is extremely different than 19, Adele releases at least four songs that I consider brilliant (Rumor Has It, Someone Like You, Rolling in the Deep and Turning Tables), as well as what I feel is her best in Rumor Has It. The kind of sound you don't hear from anybody nowadays is present on 21.
  95. Oct 4, 2014
    7
    The album is great, lyrically speaking, but instrumentally speaking, the sound isn't so marvelous listening track by track. My favs are the singles, "Rumour has it" and "Turning tables".
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. 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.