Adele’s Pop Report Card: We Grade Her 3 Albums

Jonathan Riggs | November 26, 2015 8:30 am
Adele 21

21 (2011)

For better or for worse, the monstrously successfully 21 cemented who Adele was and what her sound would be in the eyes and ears of millions. Gone is the hesitation and uncertainty of 19: Adele kicks of this set with a one-two punch (“Rolling In The Deep” and “Rumour Has it”) that pretty much declares her the new Aretha.

As we all know, however, Adele is at her mightiest when she’s in misery, and she adds new luster to her Queen Of Pain crown with “Turning Tables,” “Don’t You Remember,” “Set Fire to the Rain” and the ultimate tearjerker sad jam, “Someone Like You.” There are still a few surprises on here, including the blue-eyed soul of “I’ll Be Waiting” and her intriguing Spanish-guitar-supper-club reading of The Cure’s “Lovesong,” but it’s obvious that this is the arrival statement of a legend, the aural equivalent of Venus stepping off her clamshell to claim immortality. Grade: A+