Two years ago, British singer/songwriter Adele won both Best New Artist and Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards. She also contended for both Song and Record of the Year for “Chasing Pavements.” However, her debut disc “19” not earn a coveted Album of the Year nomination.
Her new album, “21,” which is released stateside Tuesday, is receiving rapturous reviews. Greg Kot (Chicago Tribune) says the disc, “beefs up the rhythmic drive and the drama of the arrangements. A handful of hot-shot producers, including Rick Rubin, Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth build a more elaborate platform beneath Adele’s aching vocals.” For Joey Guerra (Houston Chronicle), “’21’ is a more confident record, buoyed by success and a stable of high-wattage producers who do some of their best work in recent memory.” And Allison Stewart (Washington Post) says, “this is a breakup album with strings and a vague inclination toward rootsiness.”
Adele just tied the U.K. record set by the Beatles in 1964 with two albums and two singles in the top five. “21” has shifted half a million units in the past four weeks in the U.K. and remains at No. 1. Its success has boosted the profile of “19,” which now ranks number four. And Adele’s studio and live versions of the single “Someone Like You” rule that chart.