Hello, it's us; we've been wondering after all these times you’d like to...nvm. It's another week of album throwback from OTB and today we'll be looking at the third studio album of the English superstar singer and songwriter, Adele, who just turned thirty-two last month.
When listing the best soulful voices in the world, it'd be impetuous of anyone not to include Adele's. She was a subject of a touchy discussion last month when she put up a picture of what showcases a transformative weight loss on her birthday. Adele, being a private person doesn’t let us know more than she wants so the change came as a shock to many and bred a very sensitive debate. This also brought many fans to talk and speculate about her upcoming album which is said to be in works.
Known for naming her albums with her age as at the beginning of production (a tradition she said she has ditched), Adele has released three full-length albums in her career – 1, 21 and 25 which we would be talking about today. It’s been half a decade since the world bestselling album of 2015 – 25, but soul music, they say, is evergreen.
“When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12 I just wanted to be 18. Then after that I stopped wanting to be older. Now I’m ticking 16-24 boxes just to see if I can blag it! I feel like I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away. Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored. Wishing I wasn’t so matter of fact all the time. Wishing I’d gotten to know my great grandmother more, and wishing I didn’t know myself so well, because it means I always know what’s going to happen in the end. Wishing I hadn’t cut my hair off, wishing I was 5’7”. Wishing I’d waited and wishing I’d hurried up as well. My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. But I haven’t got time to hold on to the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done. Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk. I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won’t come back. When I was in it I wanted out! So typical. I’m on about being a teenager: sitting around and chatting shit, not caring about the future because it didn’t matter then like it does now. The ability to be flippant about everything and there be no consequences. Even following and breaking rules… is better than making the rules. 25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising. And I’m sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened.”
This was Adele’s statement on the rationale behind the album and yes, the album also spoke out for itself. The album is slow in rhythm in the majority of its songs, allowing the listeners to soul-search typical Adele). It received less appraisal and more critics than its predecessors but this doesn’t downplay the richness of its content.
With a brooding melody and her voice greater than ever, Adele opened the album with the highly addictive single, ‘Hello’, a song whose volcanic chorus brings about quivers and induces a sad mood that longs for an ex-lover. The song tells a story of desperation to get back a lover who had probably moved on and of a sober Adele owning up to her faults in what is seen as self-deprecation.
“You look like a movie. You sound like a song. My God, this reminds me of when we were young..”. Indicating that the future won’t probably transcend the past with her beautiful vocals, Adele talks about just wanting a little moment with an old flame in “When We Were Young”.
This dooming uncertainty about the future makes another appearance in “All I ask”. A silken tempest sensual and drum-filled “I miss you” and a couple of other songs like ‘Remedy’ and ‘ Water under the Bridge’ with low-tempo paving way for introspection made a part of the album. Almost every song on 25 addresses heartache in one form or another.
River Lea reminds us of the plot of Kim Liggett’s novel – Grace Year, where a group of girls go wild because of contaminated water they drink outside the town. “I blame it on the River Lea, the River Lea,”, the chorus sings sinuously as she vilifies herself as being demanding and difficult to love with the lyrics using beautiful pulsing sounds, apologizing for deeds she is yet to commit and attributing it to the River Lea near which she grew up.
She signs out the album with ‘Sweet devotion’, a song that sings about a fearless and extremely sweet love in what is an ode to her son, Angelo. It helps end the album with happiness after the deeper themes of the songs that precede it.
Yes, 25 might pale in comparison to the 19 and 21 albums and it may just be addressing the same issues its predecessor addressed but it nonetheless elucidates a newfound clarity and a perfect arrangement of beautiful songs.
We are psyched for and look forward to Adele’s fourth studio album poised to be released later this year.