Adele - "19" (XL/Columbia)
Duffy - "Rockferry" (A&M/Polydor)
Wales native Duffy and soulful Brit teenager Adele were the second of three ties on Billboard's critics' choice list this year. Single reviews editor Chuck Taylor praises Adele's "jaw-dropping intensity" and notes that "among so many trendy old-soul vocalists, hers is a talent for all time." Chart Beat columnist Fred Bronson puts Duffy's "gritty and soulful" album at No. 1 on his personal top 10 list, adding, "I was hooked as soon as I heard 'Mercy'."
"ROCKFERRY" BILLBOARD REVIEW:
"Rockferry" hits the major notes: "Warwick Avenue" is a string-smooched jazz number, the title cut is a towering wall of piano-powered sound with moody lyrics, and first single "Mercy" is about as summery as summery gets. FULL REVIEW