Right now, Adele pretty much owns blue-eyed soul. Quite something for a 22-year-old from Tottenham. She doesn't need a gimmick, because she has the lungs and the songs. Her second record is a gut-wrenching tale of lost love and heartbreak. Testifying ecstasy ('Rolling In The Deep', 'Rumour Has It') and unremittingly beautiful melodrama ('One And Only', 'Someone Like You') floods every note of every song, yet oddly, not once is it overbearing.
On top of that, you have that aching, perfect voice. There's nothing frivolous here. Nothing fun. No Ronson-fuelled production values. No irony. If love is a wicked game for Winehouse, then it's a deadly serious one for Adele. Her earnestness mightn't appeal to those in a chirpy mood, but if you're looking for the album that will embrace you as you spin around the sitting room with a bottle of Merlot in hand and a collage of crumpled Kleenex on the floor, then this is that record, and so, so much more.
And if you're not heartbroken, you'd almost wish to be to enjoy this album at its most visceral.