At the time of its release, PEOPLE described the song as "lush" and "soaring"

By Saryn Chorney
Updated February 10, 2016 01:15 PM
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John Shearer/WireImage

When you’re right, you’re right.

Back in 2008, PEOPLE reviewed the album 19 by a newcomer from the U.K. named Adele. Stateside she was an unknown, but that status would quickly change – and this publication heard the message loud and clear. Our reviewer at the time said the song “Chasing Pavements” was “lush” and “soaring,” and gave Adele’s first album four stars:

“On the heels of Estelle and Duffy, Adele is continuing the charge of retro-soul chanteuses from the U.K. And this 20-year-old Londoner is arguably the best of them all. Her smashing debut – which opened at No. 1 in the U.K. after it was released there last January – seamlessly weaves R&B, pop, jazz, folk and blues into her own torchy tapestry. With a knockout voice that’s rich and supple, robust and sultry, it’s hard to believe that this singer-songwriter is barely out of her teens.”

Sure enough, Adele was nominated for a slew of Grammys that year: record of the year, song of the year, best new artist and best female pop vocal performance. She won the latter two, and watching the then-newbie singer accept her accolades was thrilling:

But hearing Adele belt out “Chasing Pavements” (with some backing from Sugarland) was downright breathtaking. Skip ahead to 3:37 for the superstar’s premier 2009 Grammy stage spotlight:

The beautiful Brit’s voice and poise while belting out that torch song made us wonder if she could ever top herself. As time would soon tell, the answer was a resounding yes – and beyond our wildest expectations.

As we look forward to her sure-to-be epic Grammy Awards performance this year, let’s all take a moment to indulge in the wistful nostalgia of Adele’s recent past – a time when the #WCW hashtag had not even been invented yet. Were we ever so young?