Adele is the angel of heartbreak. She is a tremendously talented woman who seems to be able to make people weep effortlessly. Her sense of humour and vivacious personality make her so easily admirable. The album has clearly been a glorious success, just reaching five million sales in the United States and resting comfortably atop the album charts in many nations. For these reasons, 25 is an album which was expected to be a tear duct wrenching sensation. So what is it that made many of us slightly disappointed?
In all due credit, Adele is a vocal goddess. Over the years, she has supplied many of us with a festival of woe and gloom – perhaps accompanying our dreary car journeys or bawling over a foolish ex. However, maybe Adele should get out of touch with some of her exes, and by that I don’t mean her past lovers – I’m talking about her past albums. There’s one in particular I’m thinking of. That’s it, 21, her last album. Not only does her recent album resemble many musical traits with 21, but it doesn’t seem to hold it’s same lasting excellence – you just don’t get that sublime post-first listen feeling. That could be since there are significantly less “belters”, besides ‘Hello’. In addition to this, you may experience feeling as if you’re walking down a path that has already been wearingly trodden down – heartbreak and piano and heartbreak and piano.
Her liquidly valiant, rich voice is the sole instrument to many of her tracks – and that’s something that many of us aren’t complaining about. ‘All I Ask’ is a sobering reminder of just how touching Adele’s vocals are. And tucked away amongst the other tracks hides ‘River Lea’, woody and oozing with soul. Although, there are a significant lack of variety in the instruments that support her voice. Whilst this makes the album easy to meander along, Adele seems to have created a conservative album which is somewhat repetitive and mingles into one tedious ballad. However, that certainly doesn’t make this album not worth the listen; standalone, away from her past albums, it is both classic and charming.
Lyrically, there are clear elements of reminiscence and nostalgia through tracks such as ‘When We Were Young’; in many ways, these songs are equally as heartbreaking as her songs filled with much angst on 21. Adele appears to have adopted a more mature role through the delivery of her music, as she deals with subjects such as the passing of time and previous relationships. Another track, ‘Water Under the Bridge’ is another example of Adele breaking away from appearing as resentful as she has in some of her previous tracks.
The real question is: should Adele have explored further into experimenting with her sound to create a more innovative and creative album? Many of you will agree that if anybody can continue in creating seamlessly heartsick tracks, it is Adele herself. For that reason, 25 is a comforting and elegant album, in traditional Adele Adkins style.
Words by Lydia Ibrahim