Adele’s new album, 25, has been praised for brilliance; it is said to be the most anticipated album of the year. So, how do I objectively review this album when the media has been raving about it for weeks prior to the release? I heard about this album’s potential success weeks before the release date and my curiosity got the best of me. Remaining as unbiased as I possibly can, I approached the album as a person who has never before listened in depth to Adele. Before the end of the first week of the release, Adele had shattered the record for highest single-week album sales, previously held by NSYNC for No Strings Attached. Although some people will argue her album sales are due to not releasing the album on major music streaming services, there is definitely no denying the anticipation for 25 was high leading up to the release on Nov. 20.
25, named appropriately after Adele’s age, follows 21, her sophomore album. Adele says, “My last record was a break-up record, and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. 25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing. And I’m sorry it took so long but, you know, life happened.”
And what a make-up album it is. 25 did take awhile, with work being done on the album from 2013-2015. Nevertheless, fans (and non-fans!) can be assured the wait was well worth it. As I listened to the album, I felt like I was being told an intimate story; her pain, but also her happiness, on the table for anyone to judge.
This album consists of eleven tracks that vary in elements of soul, pop, rock, R&B and a touch of jazzy folk. Of course, Adele is known for her ballads and heart wrenching lyrics of love lost, and the new album will not disappoint. The hit single off the album “Hello,” addresses Adele’s heartbreak that haunted the first two albums. In spite of this, “Hello” shines with power and confidence. 25, despite being such a sensation, is relatively uncomplicated. Adele is the co-writer on most of the songs on the album and her voice is the sole driving factor; instrumentation is minimal. 25 is clean.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ballads on the album. Yet, I found myself returning to a few of the more upbeat songs on the album. “Send My Love,” the second track on the album, is surprisingly up-tempo and although could be classified as pop, Adele’s powerful voice is not lost on the track.
The tracks of this album differ so much; the variation and diversity within the album is refreshing, but only illustrates further exactly how talented Adele really is. “Water Under the Bridge” and “River Lea,” the sixth and seventh track on the album respectively, possess booming soul-heavy choruses. “I Miss You” includes elements of effortless poise and rock.
Overall, Adele’s vocals are astounding; she is perhaps one of the most authoritative voices in the music industry today. 25 demanded attention and, without a doubt, delivered.
Songs to listen to:
“Water Under the Bridge”
“Send my Love”
“I Miss You”