The Adele 25 album has been a long time coming in the sense that Adele at one point considering taking a permanent sabbatical from the music world. Yet, here she is – back with 11 songs that perhaps are more soaring than what we’ve heard thus far. The signature voice is woven tightly within the melodies that make for a pleasing experience, despite the heartbreaking subject matter.
Opening with “Hello,” Adele offers a bittersweet recording that tugs at the heart and will have you finishing a bottle of Jameson by the time it’s over. The country pop “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” is catchy, and much more upbeat than where Adele truly shines. This does not take away from the powerful delivery she provides. In fact, it’s one of the more lyrically meaningful cuts to take away from 25. “Water Under the Bridge,” while radio friendly is just as mesmerizing.
“When We Were Young,” in which a studio clip was released recently is an exploration into the sorrowful reflection. There are points in the song where it feels as though Adele stopped singing to shed some tears. There is an equally haunting quality about “Love in the Dark,” which is about the complexities and challenges of being in love. Here, Adele bellows in emotion as she discusses what it’s like to be a relationship where one person is in love more than the other – and making the painful decision to walk away. The finale, “Sweetest Devotion,” is a soulful ode to the butterflies and euphoria that is profoundly highlighted during the first season of a relationship.
There’s no doubt that Adele can effortlessly sing. She moves through the weighty lyrics presented here with an ease, openness and warmth that many singers of today simply can’t touch. The Adele 25 album is more heavy handed in its dramatics than 19 or 21, allowing the British singer to reach into depths of vulnerability but to a certain extent, the recording as a whole breathes familiarity rather than breaking new ground.
25 Receives a PAR