When you put out a cover of an insanely popular song - especially a beloved one that's been danced to at weddings and cried over after breakups - you're announcing yourself, in a way, to the world. And with Adele's cover of the Cure's "Lovesong," the British girl that swept the Grammys in 2009 soars where so many others (311, Death Cab, etc.) have crashed.
The 21 year old with the too-smoky-for-her-age pipes is flirty and seductive singing songs of love. She asks for forgiveness - but hardly begs. And, unlike so many young female singers today, she never resorts to vocal histrionics. On "Turning Tables" Adele is confident in her regret - believably sad, but learning from her mistakes. And on "I'll Be Waiting" she rocks along easily with a jazzy piano and a brass section. Save for a couple of so-so tracks, 21 is a beautiful album led by a singer with a pristine, classic voice.
Recommended Download: "I'll Be Waiting"