This Will Be the Breakout Track From Adele’s New Album

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adele’s 25 leaks online.

Adele’s 25 is due out Friday, but fans who had hoped to stream the album on services like Spotify and Apple Music may be out of luck. NEW YORK • Parts of Adele’s much anticipated new album, 25, were reported on Wednesday to have been leaked online ahead of its official release today. The astonishing sales of its first single, Hello, suggest that global success on a scale unseen since the last time Adele released an album is already a foregone conclusion. The British singer’s 2011 album, 21, won six Grammy awards and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and 25 is expected to be this year’s biggest selling album.

A Spotify spokesperson confirmed that 25 will not be on Spotify when it’s released Friday. “We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify,” the spokesperson tells EW. “We hope that she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy 25 on Spotify alongside 19 and 21 very soon.” The album will also not be available to stream via Apple Music, though Apple users can purchase 25 on iTunes. “Her soulful new single, ‘Hello, ‘is available to stream on Apple Music along with her entire catalog and her revealing interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1,” Apple said in a statement to EW. The fan later posted what appeared to be a tweet from Adele’s record label, XL Recordings, ordering the removal of the “infringing material” and threatening legal action. “25 leaked and it wasn’t me,” @HausofFrancis tweeted on Wednesday.

Swift most recently took on Apple for not paying musicians during a three-month free trial for its new music streaming service, but changed her mind when the company agreed to compensate the artists. If the estimates are correct, Adele could sell 2.5 million copies of 25 in its first week, breaking the record currently held by *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached. Predictions for 25’s sales are astronomical, with industry forecasters on Wednesday estimating that she could sell as many as 2.5m units during the album’s first week of release.

For the most part, 25 sticks close to the formula of the best-known tracks on its predecessor, 21: big, piano-led ballads, decorated with strings and brass, dealing with heartbreak. In fact, most of them seem to deal with exactly the same heartbreak that fuelled 21: five years on, Adele is still, metaphorically speaking, planted on her ex’s lawn at 3am, tearfully lobbing her shoes at his bedroom window. Billboard reports that 3.6m physical copies of the have been sent to American record shops, assumed to be the largest order of a newly-released CD in a decade. You can see why this has happened. 21’s vast success was at least partially predicated on the personal nature of the songwriting, but the things that have happened in Adele’s personal life since its release – vast fame and its attendant pressures, domestic contentment and motherhood – are difficult topics to write about without sounding ungrateful or trite respectively. That said, she occasionally gives it a go: Remedy offers a bit of Fix You-style sentimentality, and Million Years Ago rather affectingly depicts old friends who now “can’t look me in the eye, it’s like they’re scared of me”.

The songs are invariably beautifully delivered – in a world of singers who feel impelled to express emotion by vocally doing their nut, Adele understands that less is usually more – but something is missing from them. Over the course of a week, the song was downloaded 1.1m times, almost doubling the previous record set by Flo Rida, who sold 600,000 downloads of Right Round in a week in February 2009. The raw emotional edge that was part of 21’s appeal is noticeable by its absence, replaced by what sounds less like closure and reconciliation than a certain pass-aggy bent: “Send my love to your new lover,” she sings brightly, “I hope you treat her better.” In fact, it’s hard not to start feeling your sympathy shift a little from the dumpee to the dumper. “When I call you never seem to be home,” she protests on Hello, which does rather make you think: well, you have just sold 30m copies of an album largely concerned with telling the world what a terrible shit he is.

There’s an argument that 25 bears comparison to the work of John Grant, another confessional singer-songwriter who has thus far wrung two hugely acclaimed albums of material out of a single failed relationship. Grant is always tipping you the wink that he knows he’s going on a bit; Adele, on the other hand, just seems to be going on a bit. “This is never ending, we’ve been here before,” she sings on Love in the Dark. He writes: “Clearly no one buys an Adele album expecting bleeding-edge sonic innovation, in much the same way that no one buys a Sleaford Mods album in the hope of finding a tear-jerking ballad suitable for performing at The X Factor final, but the feeling that it doesn’t all have to be quite as rounded-edged as this is hard to shake.” They’re not bad songs as such, but they feel slightly ordinary, distinguished only by her voice, a state of affairs compounded by the fact that the much of the album proceeds at the same, fairly glacial pace. It should have been intriguing to hear his obsession with music made in mid-70s California – Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, the Lennon of Walls and Bridges – rubbing up against Adele’s crowd-pleasing songwriting approach, but somehow they have contrived to come up with a song that sounds like something Jimmy Young might have played on Radio 2 in 1978.

Her two collaborations with longstanding producer Paul Epworth are great, particularly I Miss You, which is wreathed in ghostly backing vocals, tumbling drums and time-stretched, vaguely dubstepish vocal samples. Likewise the Danger Mouse-helmed River Lea – the closest thing the album comes to its predecessor’s Rolling in the Deep – its organ-led, faintly gospel-like mood given a tiny hint of strangeness by the producer’s liberal application of echo. It’s an album that could have done with more stuff like that: more variety, more sense of an artist using the space and freedom that shifting 30m units buys you to move on, at least a little.

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