Adele’s ’25’ Album Review: Simple, Soulful, & Truly Sensational

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adele’s 25 won’t be available on streaming platforms.

The new album of British singer and songwriter Adele, entitled “25” is pictured at Bertus Wholesale and Distribution in Capelle aan de IJssel on Nov. 19.“We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify,” Spotify said in a statement. “We hope that she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy ‘25’ on Spotify alongside ‘19’ and ‘21’ very soon.” Pulling the highly anticipated album from the streaming platforms will force listeners to buy it digitally and at stores, driving its sales.Global success on a scale unseen since the last time Adele released an album is “already a foregone conclusion” writes the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis, “it has already been taken as read that 25 is a masterpiece: its quality isn’t up for question.” Harriet Gibsone will be reviewing Adele’s album track by track between 12pm and 1pm GMT Friday. Adele, who is now 27, said that turning 25 was “about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing.” AFP NEW YORK, United States—Adele has had nearly five years to savor the massive success of her last album but, on a release that could be even bigger, she is looking back wistfully on what once had been.

On Adele’s third album “25,” which came out Friday, the singer has little interest in gloating about fame or experimenting in style, instead returning to the emotional depths that have so resonated with her vast fan base. Adele’s 25 is her first album since 2011’s 21 and, along with its lead single “Hello,” has already broken numerous records. “Hello” is the first single to sell more than a million U.S. downloads in a week, and the album has been at the top of the charts since it was available for preorder last month. “Fans have been anticipating this moment for years, and the buzz is unprecedented,” Target spokesman Lee Henderson said recently. (Target will stock a deluxe edition of the album with three bonus songs.) “We know 25 will be one of the biggest albums this holiday season.” Billboard reports that Columbia Records, which will release the album in the U.S., is planning on shipping 3.6 million copies of the album, and Sony Music expects first-week sales to be more than 1.5 million. Adele, her soaring but soulful voice possessing the same power, retraces the memories of her working-class childhood around London as she reflects from her new, uncomfortable perch. “I feel like my life is flashing by / And all I can do is watch and cry,” she sings to a delicate, Spanish-tinged guitar on “Million Years Ago.” Adele’s last album, “21,” was led by the raw intimacy of the heartache song “Someone Like You.” But the man who broke Adele’s heart—whoever he was—is long gone, and Adele has since become a mother and found new love. She might have phoned her record label and asked them to tell her how many flights she, someone who is terrified of flying, is going to take in the next few months.

In a booming voice sure to leave many listeners in tears or at least with goose bumps, Adele sings over the piano, “All I ask is / If this is my last night with you / Hold me like I’m more than just a friend / Give me a memory I can use … ‘Cause what if I never love again.” Adele—who, despite the album’s title, is 27—has described “25” as a look at her life “teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully fledged adult.” Adele owes her success in no small part to her unpretentious, nonrock star image. She is not known to shake her body on stage or trash hotel rooms and is marking Friday’s release by singing at Joe’s Pub, a cozy club in New York’s Greenwich Village. Last year, Taylor Swift pulled her catalog from Spotify and only made her music available on Apple Music after the company announced it would pay artists for streaming, even during free-trial periods.

The shipment numbers are the highest since “No Strings Attached” by boy band NSYNC in 2000, which was the year before Apple’s iTunes shook up the music business by mainstreaming digital sales. Like Swift, Adele has stayed at a small independent label—in Adele’s case, London-based XL Recordings—that allowed her to keep strong editorial control. “All I Ask” was cowritten by another star, Bruno Mars. While Adele’s songs are soulful, beautiful and lovelorn, aided by arrangements which are subtle and folky, it’s that voice which will knock you for six. Canadian indie rocker Tobias Jesso Jr. is credited on another of the more intense songs, “When We Were Young,” whose bittersweet harmonies and backup choir have echoes of 1980s pop hits. “You look like a movie / You look like a song / My God, this reminds me / Of when we were young,” Adele sings to chords on a piano once owned by composer Philip Glass. Powerful, enchanting and rich, Adele throws shapes that will remind you of Etta James, Karen Dalton and Jill Scott, but she does so without ever simply becoming a mere copyist.

She says she likes to put on a show. “I always wanted to be an entertainer,” she remembers. “It wasn’t so much to be a singer, because I never sent out demos to record companies or did showcase gigs. But I’d be in the school show and I’d put on shows at home for my mum and her friends.” One of her early musical finds was Ella Fitzgerald. “I picked up the Ella Fitzgerald CD in HMV because of her hair on the cover, the primed 1950s hair. I never got my hair done like that, though.” Adele also had a hankering to work in A&R, finding and developing new bands for labels. “My dad’s friend used to be the head of HR at Warner Music and I did my work experience there which is where I found out all about A&R,” she explains. “I liked all the work that went with it.

She didn’t realise that they had something else in mind based on the songs they had heard on her MySpace site. “They had been e-mailing me for weeks and weeks and I just ignored them because I was organising my 18th birthday party. At the time, there was no buzz about me and they were the first label, so when I went to see them, I saw it more about me impressing them than the other way around.” When she signed her record deal, she had only four songs to her name. “I found it really hard to adjust from writing songs for pleasure to writing because it was my job. It’s an ode to being young and making memories and what you remember when you’re away from home and something like driving past a bus-stop or a McDonald’s reminds you of home.” She admits she fretted a bit about people’s reaction to her songs. “I suppose it was always on my mind that these songs were going to be heard by a lot of people and I could get ripped apart. Adele spent four years at the Brit School, a performing arts college in London that also schooled Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash, Katie Melua and Leona Lewis. “It’s not a stage school; it’s about performing arts,” she emphasises. “You learn about your craft. She’s learning what’s involved in being a public face and how to walk the line between fame and infamy. “I don’t ever go out to celeb hangouts or hotspots, but I don’t think Amy Winehouse did either and she certainly didn’t plan what has happened to her,” she points out. “I like to think that it won’t happen to me but you never know.

It would be different if I was Jodie Marsh.” Next Christmas, she plans to take over the penthouse suite in the Dorchester Hotel in London for her extended family. Beginning with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss Everdeen’s closest chum, recovering from a fit of brainwashing, the film is mostly taken up with the heroine leading a team through hostile territory in an attempt to assassinate the sickly President Snow (Donald Sutherland). As the revolution gathers momentum, we begin to suspect that, rather than enjoying a new dawn, the citizens of Panem are caught in a repetitive cycle of oppression.

They look “from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.” You know how it goes. During that nicely handled first-person shooter mayhem, it is easy to distract oneself from the unavoidable conclusion that the series is wheezing to make it over the line.

The Hunger Games began as an exciting thriller with a beautifully neat (if not particularly original) high concept: youths fight to the death for the entertainment of their cruel masters. Okay, the flamboyant design suggested a film already preparing for its own cosplay convention, but the striking Jennifer Lawrence – Everdeen forever – gave it savage energy.

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