Story by Nick Erickson, Contributing writer
After a three-year hiatus and a period of self-proclaimed writer’s block, world-renowned English pop artist Adele Adkins, known simply as Adele, has emerged with her third studio album, “25.” At only 27 years old, Adele has managed to achieve an astronomical level of success and a fan base covering the globe. With high expectations for a new release, did “25” live up to its predecessors? The answer is yes.
Adele tackled sensitive topics over the duration of her previous two records, “19” and “21.” Lyric inspiration for these records was driven by heartache that resulted from disastrous relationships. These themes are still present on “25,” but they are more elaborate and introspective than ever before. Even the music has matured and compliments Adele’s powerful voice near perfectly. Unlike ever before, there is the tasteful inclusion of electronic elements, along with graceful organs. This branching-out from repeated piano ballads, although those are still present, keeps this album fresh.
The inescapable opener to the album, “Hello,” has as much soul as one could possibly put into a track. The lead single from “25,” this track is found on every radio across the world currently and is an anthem for thebroken. “Hello” is a melancholic piano ballad, a classic attribute to Adele’s sound, but it is arguably her best attempt yet. Adele’s singing plays out like a conversation to a former lover, and the gut-wrenching pain in the lyrics can relate to anyone experiencing the difficult end to a relationship.
“Hello from the outside.
At least I can say that I’ve tried. To tell you I’m sorry, for breaking your heart. But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore.”
The second single from the album, “When We Were Young,” is a feel-good song driven by some piano chords and a soft guitar and drum mixture. On this track, Adele sings of a hypothetical party in the future, where everyone she ever loved or never loved when she was younger is attending, but nothing matters because of how great of a time everyone is having. This track stands out because of its subject matter, and really could make listeners think about how things and feelings change as one ages. This track is certainly one of the strongest on the album and is bound to be a fan-favorite in the long run.
Another stand out track on the record is “Water Under The Bridge,” where Adele reaches new territory: an upbeat disco track. This song includes an electronic-drum beat and a tropical melody. Adele sings imperatively to her lover, “If you’re gonna’ let me down, let me down gently.” This track is bound to grab listeners’ attention and likely reach a different audience.
The closer to the album, “Sweetest Devotion,” is quite possibly the biggest tearjerker of all. A beautiful, uplifting number, this track is dedicated to Adele’s beloved son. Adele sings of how she finally feels at home with her son now in her life, and how much he truly means to her.
“The sweetest devotion I’ve known.”
Three years without producing any new content was no issue for Adele in the end. “25” not only is more experimental and diverse than any of her previous material, but the messages to be found within her lyricism are equally powerful as her voice. She manages to capture an array of emotion and that truly is where this album shines. A massive comeback, Adele is here again to prove to the world that she is the queen of the music industry.