Adele – 21 (2011)

Revisiting the type of modern instant-classic album like Adele’s “21” is always such a pleasure. Like many people, I listened to this album on a loop for much of 2011-12, and got to know each song intimately. Going back now after a few years was like meeting an old friend and feeling like no time has passed at all: From the guitar strums on the opener “Rolling in the Deep” to the portentous piano of “Set Fire to the Rain” to the heartbreaking melancholy of closers “Lovesong” and “Someone Like You,” this is an album that will never feel anything less than immediate and downright gorgeous. Adele’s voice manages to reach highs and valleys that feel like emotional journeys on their own, the type of once-in-a-generation revelation destined to be legendary.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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