43. 21 (2011)
Production: Jim Abbiss, Paul Epworth, Rick Rubin
Acclaim: We can’t see it coming from her eyes, so she’s gotta make the whole album cry. The UK songstress’ Grammy sweeper pieces together her shattered heart by leaving it all on the music. Keep a Kleenex handy.
Peak moment: On the chorus of “Someone Like You,” atop a hypnotic piano, Adele finally finds closure. Or does she? “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.”