Adele is Anything but Basic on 25

Featured Image via Artist Facebook

I don’t care if she’s not making the album available for streaming on Spotify or Apple Music. I don’t care about the sales projections for this album. What I care about is that Adele’s 25 is a masterpiece of a record and if you haven’t bought it yet, your soul is missing out.

This is the kind of record to be enjoyed over time. There’s a lot of depth and is anything but “basic.” One of the reasons Adele is so universal is that she doesn’t hide her feelings behind witty lyrical phrases and metaphors. She’s direct- cutting to the heart of the issue and having an actual conversation in her songs. In today’s society where the majority of us objectify our own feelings with memes and have entire conversations that are emoji- based, it’s quite refreshing to dive a little deeper. The need for fluff disappears when you have a real connection to the human experience.

Photo: Alasdair McLellan

Photo: Alasdair McLellan

Now let’s get into the nuts and bolts of Adele’s 25. I have to say, I was pretty nervous about listening at first because 21 was so extraordinary. However, after repeat listens I have to say that the “Queen of Feels” outdid herself yet again.

First off, her voice is better than ever. After undergoing surgery in 2011 for a vocal hemorrhage, she can now hit four new notes. Her tone is noticeably purer, commenting in her Rolling Stone interview that the surgery makes the voice “brand-new.”

Adele has some serious collaborations on 25 as well, with artists like Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse, and Bruno Mars. She admits that she “never sung so hard” in her whole life, after working with Mars on “All I Ask.” The tune definitely showcases never-before-seen heights for Adele vocally and also has some pretty heavy-hitting lyrics: “It matters how this ends/Cause what if I never love again?”

She collaborated with pop superstar Ryan Tedder on 21 for tunes like “Turning Tables” and “Rumour Has It” and on 25, the two co-wrote “Remedy,” which isn’t about a former lover as one would assume, but her three-year-old son, Angelo. This song also happens to be the catalyst for the rest of the songs on the album and according to her interview with the New York Times, “restored her confidence.”

As far as standout tracks go, one of my favorites is “When We Were Young.” Co-written with Tobias Jesso Jr., this song will make anyone cry. I haven’t been able to listen to it all the way through without tearing up, so it’s definitely a doozy of a ballad. It’s very reminiscent of  the 70s classic, “The Way We Were,” by Barbra Streisand, sharing a similar timeless quality and the theme of looking back.

The poppiest tune on 25 is probably “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”, co-written and produced by pop phenom, Max Martin. Adele admitted she never heard of him until hearing Taylor Swift’s song, “I Knew You Were Trouble.” She googled him to reach out about working together and the resulting song is a sure-fire hit that somehow still retains an organic, soulful quality.

There’s a lot of a layers to Adele’s 25 and I’m sure we’ll all hear something new with each listen. The hardest thing as a songwriter is to express deep emotions simply and Adele is a master at that. It takes a true genius to render the complex simple or at least, make the complex sound simple. As the saying goes, “the greats make it look easy” but that doesn’t mean it is.

You can purchase Adele’s 25 here. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 

2 Comments

  1. Bryana Natale

    November 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    This album was a topic of conversation at Thanksgiving dinner. She’s unbelievable. Love “Send Your Love.”

  2. Pingback: Adele Announces North American Tour with Philly Dates! - Rock On Philly

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