Like most people, I wasn't keenly aware of Adele's presence until her appearance on SNL back in 2008. Millions of Americans were watching that night, not because of Adele but because Sarah Palin was supposed to appear. But, like most viewers that night, I was enraptured by the unknown musical guest's captivating sound. After that, I bought her second single- "Chasing Pavements" and listened to it several dozen times until I bought her debut album.
Now, three years later she's come out with her sophomore effort- 21. If anything, her first album was a heartfelt exploration of what contemporary soul could be. 21 is the full realization of that idea; it's 21st century retro-soul and it's beautifully mature with a dash of endearing naïveté.