Battling writer's block in her attempt to follow up the surprise success of 19, British singer-songwriter Adele Adkins recorded ten songs influenced by the country and bluegrass sounds her North American tour had exposed her to. Only one of the ten, the ballad "Take It All", proved up to her standards, but the bitter relationship song triggered a fight with her older boyfriend. Thus inspired - and driven to drink - Adele put together the eventual lead single "Rolling In The Deep" the very next day with producer Paul Epworth. With her writer's block obliterated, Adele got back to business and over the course of the next months finished the modern era's answer to Rumours.
21 is Adele's second album and the highest-selling album of The New '10s. The top-selling album of 2011 and 2012, 21 won Adele many, many awards throughout its run of chart dominance and, upon the release of the Concert Film/Live Album Adele Live At The Royal Albert Hall, made her the first artist to ever hold a year's top-selling DVD, album, and single all at once. As such, it is the best-known example of a modern blockbuster.
- "Rolling in the Deep" - 3:48
- "Rumour Has It"- 3:43
- "Turning Tables" - 4:10
- "Don't You Remember" - 4:03
- "Set Fire to the Rain" - 4:01
- "He Won't Go" - 4:38
- "Take It All" - 3:48
- "I'll Be Waiting" - 4:01
- "One and Only" - 5:48
- "Lovesong" - 5:16
- "Someone Like You" - 4:44
- "If It Hadn't Been For Love" - 3:08 (UK, Taiwan, Poland, and Bulgaria bonus track)
- "Hiding My Heart" - 3:28 (UK, Taiwan, Poland, and Bulgaria bonus track)
We could've had it allllllll! Listing all the trooooooooopes:
- Award-Bait Song: "Take It All" hits most criteria, but did not actually win an award.
- Break-Up Bonfire: Featured in the "Rolling In The Deep" video.
- Break-Up Song: While 21 may often be remembered as Breakup Song: The Album, "He Won't Go" is about a friend's drug problems, "One And Only" is a straightforward love song, and "Lovesong" is a Love Nostalgia Song.
- Cover Version: A Latin-influenced take on The Cure's "Lovesong" appears toward the end.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Not only the cover art for 21 proper, but all of the single covers as well as the entire "Someone Like You" video.
- Face on the Cover: See above.
- The Four Chords of Pop: "Someone Like You"
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "Someone Like You" plays with the trope. The narrator tries to be this, but also desperately needs to see her former lover again, as "for me, it isn't over" just yet.
- Love Will Lead You Back: And she'll be waiting.
- Murder Ballad: One of the many region-specific bonus tracks is a cover of "If It Hadn't Been For Love", a bluegrass murder song. She sings it in her Royal Albert Hall concert as well, so it's thankfully available everywhere in some form.
- Questioning Title?: "Don't You Remember?"
- Shout-Out: Another of the regional bonus tracks, "I Found A Boy", shouts out Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" both in the lyrics and melody.
- The Something Song: "Lovesong"
- Paris: The video for "Someone Like You" features Adele wandering the empty city, playing on its reputation with lovers.
- Silly Love Songs: "One And Only", surprisingly.
- Surreal Music Video: "Rolling In The Deep" Enjoy the dancing ninja?
- Woman Scorned: Present to memetic levels, but especially "Rumour Has It".