Music Review: “25” by Adele

Image-1Posted by: Lee

Top 5 Recommendations:
“When We Were Young”
“Love In Dark”
“Million Years Ago”
“All I Ask”
“Sweetest Devotion”

This was a surprise album with a traditional single on the radio and the release date for the album about a month later! I don’t know if or how the music business works these days but I’m sure it adapts more than anything, just maybe because of the success of “21”, it’s expected to do something close to that. Now that I’ve mentioned the success Adele had with this album (money, money, money), I can finally talk about the new songs and how more of a success it is to have it in your ears and heart rather than what you spent on it. Here are 25 and more reasons that should make you love this album even more!

My most favorite song on the album gives off this folk sounding tale of what it’s like to grow and when reconnecting with old friends and family, you’ve merely just changed to them. I love this song so much for my personal life and the addition to Adele’s collection. It’s almost ambiguous that anyone can relate to as far as being really popular and polarized to the ones closest around you. She whispers on the second verse “it’s like they’re scared of me” and it’s just haunting with this old time rhythm playing throughout the song’s duration. I’d deem it to be sung during the middle of the tour. Out of all the popular songs she’s created, this slows down everything in the midst of it all. This is definitely a personal favorite even from hearing a live version prior to the release of the album, which is even more broken down instrumentally.

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“Love In The Dark” is cinematic and sweeping, an ambiguous title and message that could easily be towards this guy she sung about so painfully yet beautifully on “21” or about being able to be completely over the past before moving on with her husband…

Misty and peacefully, these songs fill up any space; a broader sound is the creation on this album. More and more ambiance from beginning to end. It feels a little more clear and sophisticated than it does on the previous album without comparison. It’s a good thing. A rich sound with just drums, acoustics, piano and strings, mostly.

11 songs that really make things feel life size no matter how narrow the subject is. I believe a lot of fans who fell in love with “21” were expecting, like myself, songs like “One and Only”, “Take It All”, “Turning Tables” and “Someone Like You.” These churning Adele classics listed really made “21” the album and also set a tone of what “classic Adele” is “Rolling In The Deep”, “Someone Like You”, “Make You Feel My Love”, “Set Fire to the Rain”, “Hello”, and “Don’t You Remember,” just to set a tone of what sounds universal under her belt.

In “All I Ask”, you get this desperation of wanting to be wanted since it might be the last time between yourself and someone not so special. She literally is asking for it all before the sun and even if it’s pretend, that’s what she wants. Let this play out in her head so the heart is released. Most want closure and most never get it — so to prevent ever losing or getting a broken heart from never having to love, let this night be. It takes me back to a classic R&B feel with reminisces of Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, James Ingram, etc. This is my song! A ballad I haven’t heard in awhile and definitely a show stopper!

Right from the very beginning there was the single “Hello”, which is such a grand re-entry to the fans, sonic-ally and commercially! The video generated a lot of memes, and in my opinion the Miss Piggy one (pictured below) was the best one. Besides the world outside it, it can’t be forgotten or tired of. “Hello” is a great record period.  It sweeps with the strings and swoons you with hushing backgrounds within the chorus. Her vocals on this particular song makes you feel like you’re flying as you sing along; some type of “superwoman save ’em all” anthem. It’s big, it’s Adele, it opens up the album and a live show she did in New York back in November.

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Surprisingly, but a little expecting or even hoping for the one upbeat “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” which opens up on the chorus suggesting that her ex provides only love and care for his new lover. It’s fun and cheeky while the music would sit next to previous mid tempo grooves by her like “Right As Rain”, “Could Shoulder”, and “Rumor Has It.” I was also caught-off guard by “I Miss You”, which also fills the room with this growing gloom from instrumentation, with a really low but noticeable organ that you can pick up on through out the verses. You can definitely feel more depth with the music and her backgrounds. She’s going higher and lower and the songs are so balanced well you get a bit of whatever elements, musically and vocally, at it’s own perfect timing. If it was up to me, I could definitely see “I Miss You” on the radio.

A friend and I mentioned “Water Under The Bridge” and how it’s a great follow-up to “Set Fire to the Rain.” The titles tell a story it it’s own right and “Water Under The Bridge” has to be her grooviest and most retro nostalgic song. Again, her backgrounds on here play a major role as instrumentation to this song. This should definitely be a single that get’s radio play, I know it will be and just make the non-fans take another listen. A great spring time song!

Overall, I feel that the album deserves every ounce of the attention it has gotten. She made us fall in love with her own heartbreak through and through on “21” and this album makes you feel like you can breathe now. 2016 is a long time away from 2011, so I know a lot of people that have lived with “21” has learned from a lot of mishaps and growing with loving their self a little more. There is art in sadness, the whole ordeal of having so much passion in anything and not being able to keep it or him / her can be gut wrenching. It’s human nature to want what you can’t have and sadly it’s what I’ve taken in after after reading other subtle reviews on the album. Everybody thought they’d get a 2015 version of “Someone Like You” or “Turning Tables.” For me, which this is a personal review, this is a winners listening experience.

Lee’s Personal Top 3:
“Million Years Ago”
“All I Ask”
“When We Were Young”

“I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be.” I end this review, with the most heart warming song, for myself. I relate to Adele’s “When We Were Young” so much. Not even just knowing how far apart family and friends can get, but just the mixing of generations that are all co-existing right now. The sound itself sounds like this slow melody from the mid 70’s, almost something the Carpenters or Carol King would make! And here comes Adele with the softest but rich message of trying to hold on, once again, but realizing how great it used to be; “we were tired of getting old it made us restless.” It’s like knowing our lives were so great, it’s hopeful to see where else it can go.  Before she performed “Someone Like You” at the NBC New York show, she mentioned that it was the first time her husband has heard her sing this particular song live and the first time she got to sing it under a different light. It was all about her ex before and to have so many performances with the last thought of someone that use to be in your world to overcoming that and being able to perform a knockout song, truly reveals the circle of life. Everything does come full circle and that’s what this album displays. I can listen to it all day. It’s the “Remedy” chapter of her life and music career.  It truly is a devotion.

Thank you Adele,

And yeah, yeah, I know that was more than 25 reasons…

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