Of all 2008's female vocalists, none is as great as this one.
Adele (Adkins) went to the Brit School and like her has that glottal stop down to a T, which is no easy feat; she runs in the same loose pack as the likes of Jack Penate and first released 'Hometown Glory' through Jamie T's own label. That song served notice, celebrating life in London - born in Tottenham, she was brought up in Brixton - in a way more arresting than her eager-to-please peers:
'I like it in the city when the air is so thick and opaque/ I love to see everybody in short skirts, shorts and shades,' she sang, before taking an unexpected detour: 'I like it in the city when two worlds collide/ You get the people and the government, everybody taking different sides.'
The way she stretched the vowels, her wonderful soulful phrasing, the sheer unadulterated pleasure of her voice, stood out all the more; little doubt that she's a rare singer, which another track first available on her MySpace site, 'Daydreamer', confirmed. Rather than the piano for accompaniment, here she played her guitar, casting a dreamy spell. Very Joni Mitchell of N17.