Album Review: Adele – 25 (Track by Track)

Adele 25 cover art

Adele ready to shatter records with new album 25
The most awaited album of 2015 is out! Adele finally is back and after the all shattering success of the new single ‘Hello’ (over 400 million views in just three weeks and in no time number 1 in iTunes basically everywhere around the world) she launches her new album, typically called 25. There is an enormous hype going on around Adele at the moment and she will have to live up to the bar she set so high with 21, which was the most successful album of the past decade. Here is a track by track review of Adele’s brand new album!

Hello
This song definitely does not need an introduction anymore. From the moment of the premiere on, the track has been all over radio, television and social media and rightfully so as it is one of the best things Adele has ever written. The emotional ballad has an anthemic and soaring chorus with larger than life vocals in a manner only Adele can pull off. Definitely one of the best singles released this year.

Send My Love (To You New Lover)
This is by far the most poppy moment and probably the most upbeat and sassy we ever heard Adele on record. No wonder if you take into account the fact that she wrote it with star producer Max Martin. The track actually sounds a bit like the recent stuff by Taylor Swift and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. ‘Send my love to your new lover, treat her better’ is quite a brilliant lyric, isn’t it? This could be a fun single choice to surprise people.

I Miss You
‘I Miss You’, written and produced with Paul Epworth, is a dramatic ballad with a haunting vibe. The song features prominent drums and subtle choirs. The chorus is once again vivacious and the lyrics deal with intimacy in the bed room. A great option for a radio hit.

When We Were Young
‘When We Were Young’ premiered earlier this week when Adele posted a vdieo of her singing it live in a church. The big ballad is described by some as the ‘Someone Like You’ of this record, because it’s big, emotional and looks back at a past relationship. The lyrics are vividly creating a picture and there are some seriously big notes in the final chorus. Just what we all want from Adele, right?

Remedy
Adele herself described ‘Remedy’ as the track that got her going for the recording of 25. The piano ballad she created with Ryan Tedder in 2013 is probably the closest to the sound of 21, but doesn’t quite match the best moments of this album and therefore falls a bit flat in context of the new record.

Water Under The Bridge
During the creation of 25 Adele and producer Greg Kurstin had a great connection, because after the brilliant single ‘Hello’, he also worked with her on ‘Water Under The Bridge’, that should be selected as a second single. It’s a beautiful mid tempo tune with a sparkling production with handclaps, a gospel choir and swinging drums. The chorus is one of the strongest on the album and of course Adele gives it her all vocally.

River Lea
‘River Lea’ is another early favourite. The track, co-written by Brian Burton and produced by Danger Mouse starts out almost a capella, but in the chorus her vocals are joined by hand claps, a gospel choir and a laidback rhythm. This ode to the waters of her hometown is an anthem!

Love In The Dark
This might be my favourite proper ballad of the record. It’s just Adele and the piano and that is what she does best! The chorus is hauntingly beautiful and the string section during the middle eight is gold as well. These might be the most touching lyrics on the whole album, about a dysfunctional relationship that can’t be saved. Goosebumps!

Million Years Ago
This is a guitar driven ballad with a light flamenco rhythm at times. This might sound weird at first, but listen for yourself! There is something warm and slightly exotic in the atmosphere of the song, although the lyrics are quite nostalgic: ‘life was a party to be thrown, but that was a million years ago’. She looks back at her youth and realizes how fast the past few years have gone by. Relatable and moving!

All I Ask
Adele worked with Bruno Mars on ‘All I Ask’ and the result is a big ballad that almost sounds like a musical number. The track nearly drowns in its own sentimental vibe, but then at the end of the chorus Adele asks herself in an exceptionally emotional manner, “What if I never love again?”, and all faith is restored.

Sweetest Devotion
The Epworth collaboration ‘Sweetest Devotion’ closes the standard edition of the album and is an exuberant ballad that screams to be sung along at romantic campfires at the beach. Can you picture it already? Anyway, it’s the perfect closing number for this album.

Overall, I would say, 25 does not have the same unique and special atmosphere 21 had, but it still is an excellent album and will definitely shift millions of copies. It was always an impossible task to top the most successful album of this decade, but Adele certainly comes close. She sticks to what she does best with a few experiments in terms of production, but it all still sounds exactly like an album Adele should make and that is the biggest compliment one could get in the world of pop these days.

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