From the first beat of “Rolling in the Deep,” the first track on Adele’s new album, “21”, it is clear that even at such a young age (all of 22 now), singer/songwriter Adele continues to be a force stronger than she may know. As “21” dips into the style of the country South with a rollicking and rocking propulsion, it highlights the strength of Adele’s voice as surely as it asserts the certainty of her dignity. It’s a little sad to hear stories of heartache and loss from such a young girl, but the strength of Adele’s talent is so clear, it almost negates the natural tendency to empathize. For while she laments being misunderstood and left behind, here she is, soaring ahead with her raspy and textured voice, beautiful and sure and stronger than heartbreak.
- Serena Hedison
Stream the entire lp at npr.com
U.S. release via Columbia on Feb. 22, 2011