The British star’s last album, 21, sold over 30 million copies—the only release this century to reach that zenith, making Adele’s long-awaited followup something like pop’s second coming. The “Rolling in the Deep” singer doesn’t disappoint. Her new album revisits the heartbreak that informed 21 while allowing Adele, now a mother of one in a steady relationship, to move on. It opens with “Hello,” featuring her wondrously deep, soulful voice, and includes “When We Were Young,” about running into an old flame. “River Lea,” takes her into gospel territory, while “All I Ask,” her collaboration with Bruno Mars and his crew, expresses loneliness with palpable emotion. Best of all is the adventurous “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” which takes Adele into brave new pop territory. “Gotta let go of all of our ghosts,” she sings over an infectious beat, “we both know we ain’t kids no more.” This is the new Adele—all grown up and letting go.
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