Adele underscores the point right in the titles of her CDs. She named her first “19,” after her age when she recorded it. Twenty-four months later, she has dubbed the new one “21,” but the growth spurt it measures suggests a span of decades.
Make no mistake, “19” was no novice leap. It showed a young singer blessed with a handsome tone, ample lung power and an enviable ability to negotiate a tune. It fully deserved its platinum sales and Best New Artist Grammy.