Adele – 25CultureMusicAlbum reviews
The turbulent years (musically and personally) that the British singer-songwriter has endured since her last hugely successful record, 21, left us wondering whether the talented young vocalist from London would ever breathe new life. With the support of an illustrious line-up of co-writers and producers (including Paul Epworth, Max Martin and Ryan Tedder), Adele is back with yet another powerful album: 25.
Presented as a “make-up record”, 25 follows a similar musical and emotional formula to its predecessors. Interpreted as the sequel to her previous hit Someone Like You, power ballad Hello opens with sonorous piano chords, cueing a timid, melodic utterance of “Hello, it’s me”. Revealing itself slowly, the song meanders to a gradual crescendo, as heart-pounding drums, ghostly backing vocals and a majestic chorus drive the track towards an intense sonic and narrative peak.
Adele’s collaboration with various high-profile producers in this album has certainly impacted the stylistic variation. Produced by Max Martin, Send My Love (to Your New Lover) is a playful and upbeat pop tune that showcases a confident attitude, which is out of the ordinary in this LP. Equally striking is I Miss You, where a syncopated beat and ripples of eerie vocal effects rebound across the audible terrain, stirring up a spine-chilling, arctic ambience.
Orchestration has always been an influential agent in Adele’s musical palette, something she and her musical entourage employ to great effect in this record. Love in the Dark basks in opulently scored strings and a rich wall of backing vocals that enriches her heartfelt vocal tone, engineering a magnificently symphonic and emotional production. On the other hand, the stripped down instrumentation in Million Years Ago addresses her nostalgic memories, as she reminisces about her days spent in Brockwell Park in South London. She delivers this beautiful, silky melody with panache and fingerpicked acoustic guitar arpeggios; harmonies that echo the tranquil backdrop of Stanley Myers’ famous guitar piece Cavatina cocoon this mellow number.
This is hardly the most innovative or most adventurous body of music on the global musical landscape. However, Adele’s musical personality has a timeless appeal and 25 is an album of personal significance, packed with raw and unrestrained emotion.
25 is released on 20th November 2015, for further information or to pre-order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Hello here: