Adele is back after her hiatus with the same strong vocals and emotional lyrics in her new album '25.'

Adele fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as their queen is back and better than ever.  

Adele’s self-proclaimed “make-up” album 25 was released Friday and sold more than 900,000 copies in one day on iTunes.

The album has 11 tracks and is a direct reflection of Adele looking back on the first quarter century of her life. She discusses heartbreak and loss, but in a slightly different tone than she has in the past. The traditional ballad-like structure of Adele’s songs is still present, but rather than dwelling on heartbreak, she makes herself and the listener grow up and get over it.

Adele’s breakout single “Hello” became an overnight sensation. Fans were anxious for the release of the track after she announced the album on Twitter, and the song blew up instantly. It is the perfect greeting to kick-off the album and undoubtedly one of the best songs of the year.

“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” is not the typical Adele track, as the song is upbeat, and not to mention incredibly catchy. The song discusses growing up and dealing with an ex entering a new relationship. Rather than blindly hating her ex’s new partner, Adele wishes the new girl well, as it would be childish to treat her badly for no reason. She sings lyrics such as “Send my love to your new lover/ Treat her better/ We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts/ We both know we ain’t kids no more.” Adele sends us a warning to beware of those who treat their exes badly.

“I Miss You” shows how Adele’s evolution is much like how growing up is in real life. In her 20s, she is evolving and creating music that identifies with her. Adele keeps core aspects throughout all of her albums — powerful vocals and emotional lyrics — without boring her audience. She adds little things, such as strong drum beats, to each song to differentiate them and continues to produce hits. The content of each song shows the snapshots of her life experience, but she doesn’t change who she is to conform and misrepresent her own life. “I Miss You” shows a vulnerable Adele, but she maintains her composure and doesn’t let that vulnerability take over her life.

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The fourth track “When We Were Young” is another example of how Adele can recount a past relationship without totally breaking down. She discusses her feelings about getting older, singing lines like “We were sad of getting old/ It made us restless/ Oh I’m so mad I’m getting old/ It makes me reckless.” Adele sings the lyrics in a very abrasive tone as if yelling, which displays her feelings about growing up and watching someone you used to love grow up.

“River Lea” gives the listener insight as to how Adele handles love in relationships. She talks about how she uses other people to heal her own heartbreak and sings heart-wrenching lines like, “But my heart is a valley, it’s so shallow and man made/ I’m scared to death if I let you in that you’ll see I’m just a fake.” The tone of the song isn’t sad, rather the sound is self-aware. She warns another person she is in a relationship with about how she could hurt that person one day, considering her past. It must be hard for Adele’s fans to hear the singer say she is a bad partner because Adele appears to always be heartbroken at the fault of others. It’s rare to hear people admit that they are the source of their own sadness.

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25 still has emotional piano ballads such as “Love in the Dark” and “Remedy.” Although “Remedy” is about Adele telling someone that by being with her, she can fix her partner's sadness, “Love in the Dark” is contextually more upsetting to a listener. Adele discusses the end of a relationship and how everything has changed between the two of them. Cue the tears.

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One of the strongest tracks on the album is “Million Years Ago.” The song features an interesting, enchanting acoustic guitar that isn’t typical of Adele. Adele’s voice is literally crazy in the song. She uses it to hit such a range of notes, and she goes from singing in a soft voice to belting out disheartening lyrics about missing home and being young. “Million Years Ago” proves Adele is an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

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“All I Ask” features only a piano and Adele’s voice to convey a sense of loneliness. The song is a powerful diva ballad that would make even Whitney Houston proud.

The final track on the album is “Sweetest Devotion.” The song has a celebratory tone that pairs nicely with the soulful vocals and twangy instrumentals. Adele proves in the final song that you can be vulnerable and emotional, but if you sing it loud enough it can be interpreted as utter strength.

The world missed Adele during her hiatus, but 25 proves it was completely worth the wait.


Rating: 5/5


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