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Adele – 25

  • Release date: 25 October 2015
  • Label: Universal Music, Columbia, XL records

The theme of Adele’s 2011 hit song, 21, was transforming suffering into strength. Thirty million CDs sold and four years later, regret remains her inspiration. On the other hand, 25 finds her queenly and resolute, regretting the past on songs like “Water Under the Bridge” and “When We Were Young,” whereas 21 was the sound of a lady pushing through a terrible romance. “Hello” is also a farewell. For an artist who draws inspiration from artists from decades past, the nostalgic atmosphere is ideal, even as her all-or-nothing desperation feels very contemporary.

There is a greater sense of creative control throughout 25. Just before the opening of “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” she gives the guys in the studio instructions, saying, “Just the guitar.” The Martin-produced song that follows, which is based on a nimble acoustic figure, is a sombre farewell to an ex who couldn’t handle Adele’s fire, sung with cool composure.

Her extraordinary phrasing—the way she can infuse any line with complexity and power—is another evidence that she is one of the best interpreters of romantic songs, regardless of whether she’s clutching notes with the strength of a suspension bridge or revelling in a rare, joyous ‘whoo-hoo!’ on ‘Sweetest Devotion’. Her song “Remedy” is a gentle lift, with her singing, “No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you.” No physical prowess is surprising to someone 25 years old. Hopefully, the following one will be titled 28 rather than, say, 30. Her narrative is too good to wait for every new chapter.

Stream Adele’s 25 and let us know what you think

Adele’s 25 Tracklist

1. Hello

2. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

3. I Miss You

4. When We Were Young

5. Remedy

6. Water Under The Bridge

7. River Lea

8. Love In The Dark

9. Million Years Ago

10. All I Ask

11. Sweetest Devotion