Virtually all of the album's lyrics refer to a single breakup Adele experienced between "19" and "21," often in disarming detail, as in the disc's hushed closer, "Someone Like You": "I heard that you're settled down/That you found a girl and you're married now," she sings, "I heard that your dreams came true/Guess she gave you things I wouldn't give to you."

"We didn't try to make it open-ended so it could apply to 'anybody,' " says that song's co-writer/producer, former Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson. "We tried to make it as personal as possible." He and Adele wrote together after being hooked up by Rubin, who has enlisted Wilson's services on other projects by