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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Adele's 2009 debut album, 19, was a Grammy-winning smash hit that revealed the British singer/songwriter's knack for bittersweet soul and folk-infused love songs that brought to mind an infectious mix of Dusty Springfield and Terry Callier. The album earned her a ton of fans, and interest was high for the inevitable follow-up. In many ways, her sophomore album, the similarly age-appropriate-titled 21, is a continuation of the sounds and themes Adele was working with on 19. She is still the bluesy pop diva with a singer/songwriter's soul and seemingly bottomless capacity for heartbreak. The best thing the album does is to showcase Adele's titanic vocal ability, which -- more than a few times on 21 -- is simply spine-tingling. Last time around we got the gauzy, Callier-esque folk-soul ballad "Daydreamer" to slowly draw us into the album; here, Adele immediately injects us with the propulsive gospel fever-blues anthem "Rolling in the Deep." While the track certainly owes a heavy debt to the punk-blues of Beth Ditto and the Gossip, it is also ridiculously sexy and one of the best singles of any decade. Elsewhere, we get tracks like the blues-inflected Ryan Tedder co-write "Rumour Has It" and the old-school-style soul cut "He Won't Go," which are terrifically catchy, booty-shaking numbers and exactly the kind of songs you want and expect from Adele. Similarly enthralling is the centerpiece of the album, the mega-ballad showstopper "Take It All." Co-written by her "Chasing Pavements" partner Francis White, the song begins with Adele proclaiming "Didn't I give it all?" Delivered starkly at first with Adele set against simple piano accompaniment and later backed by a gospel choir, it's an instant-classic sort of song in the tradition of "The Rose," "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going," and "All by Myself" that could stand over the years as a career landmark for the singer and a cathartic moment for fans who identify with their idol's Pyrrhic lovelorn persona. Ultimately, Adele does give us her all on 21, and for now that is enough.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/22/2011
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886974469926
  • Catalog Number: 744699
  • Sales rank: 2,081

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Rolling in the Deep (3:48)
  2. 2 Rumour Has It (3:43)
  3. 3 Turning Tables (4:10)
  4. 4 Don't You Remember? (4:03)
  5. 5 Set Fire to the Rain (4:01)
  6. 6 He Won't Go (4:37)
  7. 7 Take It All (3:48)
  8. 8 I'll Be Waiting (4:01)
  9. 9 One and Only (5:48)
  10. 10 Lovesong (5:16)
  11. 11 Someone Like You (4:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Adele Primary Artist, Vocals
Stephanie Bennett Harp
Ray Carless Tenor Saxophone
Carmen Carter Choir, Chorus
Lenny Castro Percussion
Caroline Dale Strings
Jim Gilstrap Choir, Chorus
David Hidalgo Banjo, Accordion
Noel Langley Trumpet
Chris Laurence Strings
Rita Manning Strings
Pino Palladino Bass
James Poyser Piano
Julia Tillman Waters Choir, Chorus
Cathy Thompson Strings
Carmen Twillie Choir, Chorus
Oren Waters Choir Director
Dan Wilson Piano
Terry Young Choir, Chorus
Smokey Hormel Guitar
Peter Lale Strings
Patrick Kiernan Strings
Boguslaw Kostecki Strings
Jackie Shave Strings
Bruce White Strings
David Daniels [cello] Strings
Matt Sweeney Guitar
Neil Cowley Piano
Julian Leaper Strings
Paul Epworth Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Emlyn Singleton Strings
Warren Zielinski Strings
Fraser T. Smith Piano, Bass Guitar
Harry Brown Trombone
Chris Worsey Strings
The Wired Strings Strings
Ryan Tedder Bass, Piano, Drums, Electric Guitar, Hammond B3
Ruston Pomeroy Violin
Jenny Sacha Violin
Chris Dave Drums
Ash Soan Drums
Ben Thomas Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Tom Pigott-Smith Strings
Eleanor Mathieson Violin
Josef Powell Choir, Chorus
Jo Allen Violin
Leo Taylor Drums
Hayley Pomfrett Violin
Rachel Stephanie Bolt Strings
Jerrod Bettis Acoustic Guitar, Drums
Stephanie Cavey Violin
Kotono Sato Violin
Lorna Maxine Waters Choir, Chorus
Natalie Bonner Violin
Steve Morris Strings
Technical Credits
David Campbell String Arrangements
Simon Gallup Composer
Rick Rubin Producer
Robert Smith Composer
Porl Thompson Composer
Laurence Tolhurst Composer
Greg Wells Composer
Boris Williams Composer
Dan Wilson Composer, Producer
Roger O'Donnell Composer
Tom Coyne Mastering
Jim Abbiss Producer
Greg Fidelman Engineer
Paul Epworth Composer, Producer
Fraser T. Smith Composer, Producer
Harry Brown Horn Arrangements
Ryan Tedder Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, String Arrangements
Dana Nielsen Pro-Tools
Dan Parry Vocal Engineer
Adele Producer
Chris Elliot String Arrangements
Rosie Danvers String Arrangements
Francis White Composer
Beatriz Artola Engineer
Adele Adkins Composer
Philip Allen Engineer
Mark Rankin Engineer
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