Adele Returns with “25”

February 1, 2016

“Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years, you’d like to meet.” I think we can all agree that the moment we heard her iconic, smoky voice in an unexpected Secret commercial, we gathered as a worldwide population and geared up for Adele’s new album, “25.” I, for one, was not disappointed. The album features the mournful ballads she’s known for, but it also contains some plucky tracks such as “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and “Sweetest Devotion.” On that note, “Sweetest Devotion” sounds like it’s about her child that she seems captivated by, given the fact a young child’s laughter can be heard on the track.

Of the eleven official songs and three bonus tracks, a couple of the songs are forgettable, but several are going to be iconic. “When We Were Young,” “Remedy,” and “Love in the Dark” are three such songs that begin in a soft wave and build to beautiful, heart-wrenching crescendos. If you’re looking for some classic, rainy-day, hot-cup-of-tea music, this is the album to get. My favorite track, “Million Years Ago,” is a song that begins with a gently played guitar reminiscent of “Lovesong” from her album, “21.” The song itself isn’t quite a love song, though it has the same tone, and it has a thread of nostalgia and sorrow that’s intoxicating to a person who has past regrets (which, if we’re being honest, is every one of us). That being said, though the song has a deeper, sad tone to it, the guitar and rhythm keep the song moving in a melody that wraps around your heart like a blanket.

While most of the songs have the perfect blend of remorse and hope played out by Adele’s honey-smooth voice, there are a few that make me think of a church choir or gospel song, such as the final track, “Why Do You Love Me.” I personally tend to skip those tracks, along with the second and seventh because of the redundancy of the choruses. Every album will have its hiccups though, right?

“25”, which was released November 20, 2015, became an instant commercial success within its first few days. In the United States, 3.38 million copies of the album were sold within the first week, breaking every record for the most albums sold in a week. You couldn’t enter a room without hearing someone humming “Hello.” Adele’s voice still holds the same magic as the past, captivating the general populous as well as critics all around. There were three large concerns with this album before it ever began production. Adele faced a vocal surgery that was a danger to her voice, she was a new mother, and she had serious doubts about her writing abilities for songs. It’s public knowledge that it took several years to convince Adele to stay in the music industry and give it another shot. We can all be glad that she did and continue hoping she’ll keep enchanting us in the years to come.

-Maggie Rapier, Contributing Writer

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 7 of The Mississippi Collegian

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