After leading her fans on for an agonizing four years, Adele’s new album, 25, was released on November 20.
Adele’s previous album, 21, was released in January of 2011 and took the world by storm as the heartbreak album of the decade. Following vocal surgery and the birth of her son, Angelo, many were skeptical about whether Adele would ever write another album. Even if she did, there were questions about whether it would be able to live up to the massive success of 21. Just weeks after its release, 25 has done more than live up to the standards set by 21 – it has surpassed them. In one week, 3.4 million copies of 25 were sold, crushing the previous record of 2.1 albums sold in a week set by NSYNC in 2001.
In my opinion, Adele’s ability to connect to different generations of listeners is a large part of what has contributed to the success of 25. Songs like “Million Years Ago,” “When We Were Young” and “Hello” talk about what it was like to be young from an adult’s perspective. These songs are relatable for teenagers living in that state of youth, but also for adults looking back and feeling nostalgic.
The contrasting compilation of songs also added to the album’s success. While 21 was primarily a breakup album full of ballads with the occasional upbeat tune, 25 cannot be described as one type of album full of one type of song. The album begins with hit single, “Hello,” a nod to Lionel Richie. “Hello” tells the story of someone wanting to reconnect with a former lover and exemplifies feelings of nostalgia and regret.
“Hello” is viewed as a follow-up or reply to her hit “Someone Like You,” on 21.
While “Hello” is more of a ballad, it is followed directly by “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” an upbeat song about getting over a breakup. The contrast in tempos between the first two songs of the album sets the tone for the rest of the songs to come. In comparison to 21, 25 is a much more vibrant and energetic album. Songs like “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” “Water Under the Bridge” and “Sweetest Devotion,” show Adele’s upbeat, pop side, which she discovered after listening to Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” at lunch with her producer.
As a diehard Adele fan, I believe that 25 is her best album yet. Adele’s ability to take the little criticism there was about 21 and use it to help 25 grow is a large part of what has contributed to the achievement of the album thus far. Yes, 25 is a dynamic album, it speaks to many generations of viewers and it includes pop hits, but the underlying reason for its success is Adele’s uncanny ability to sing. Her voice is so distinct, rich and powerful that I truly believe she could sing the phone book and still sell 3.4 million albums. I know I’d buy a copy. Like the rest of the world, I have once again fallen in love with Adele Adkins and her newest hit album, 25.
by Olivia Holbrook