ADELE - 25
Adele’s recent return to the spotlight since the success of her multi-Grammy winning masterpiece 21 has been one that many millions of fans worldwide have been looking forward to. She brings a real authenticity, accessibility and beauty to her music, exemplifying that there is more to music that good production effects and whizz-bang instruments. With her voice, and simple accompaniment like on ‘Hometown Glory’ or ‘Someone Like You’, she owns the moment, which in a way is why so many people connect with her.
With that in mind, maybe knowing that her next effort was guaranteed to be a sure-fire hit released a great pressure off Adele’s shoulders, allowing her have free rein to explore new facets of music and expand her own style. So many artists often struggle to maintain success after hitting it big, but 25 proves to be a strong follow-up, brimming with many of the elements that give Adele her great sound, whilst also bringing new ideas to the table.
While there are some songs here that don’t stray too far from the 21 formula, such as smash hit ‘Hello’, the stunning piano ballad ‘Remedy’ and ‘When We Were Young’, other songs like ‘Million Years Ago’ with its intricate guitar work, and the pumping ‘Water Under The Bridge’ that provides instrumental and percussion power to back up Adele’s vocals, really showcase Adele’s maturity in musical production and her songwriting. Throughout the entire record, Adele’s vocals are as stellar as ever, and I think this is the best she has ever sounded. Even more so, some of the stories she weaves may even bring a tear to your eye.
The only gripe is that every song doesn’t match up consistently, even though these “weaker” songs themselves may not be weaker in their composition. 'All I Ask', for example, while being a soulful piano-and-vocal track, lacks the punch of ‘Hello’ or ‘Someone Like You.’ Consequently, this means that the experience of this album won’t stay as long in the mind of the listener as much as 21 did.
But that’s not to detract from Adele herself. 21 may be her most successful critical and commercial work to date, but 25 shows her to be more than a one-trick pony. There is plenty of treasure here, and it is great to see Adele still at the top of her game.
Adele- "When We Were Young" (Live)