Adele
25


2.5
average

Review

by ShakerFaker USER (32 Reviews)
November 24th, 2015 | 276 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 25's a watered-down version of 21, offering nothing by way of progression and, at times, regresses to dull areas where 21 never ventured.

For everything that happened to Adele in all of her years away - she birthed a baby, which many mothers consider their greatest achievement; she committed long-term to her baby's father; and she aged without public scrutiny, allowing her to peacefully reflect on her music and stardom - Adele's newest offering has almost nothing to show for it. It has neither 19's innocent charm, nor 21's intensity and strength through heartbreak. Absence of these qualities didn't necessarily mean 25 would assume a position below Adele's normal standard. In fact, all new things considered, musical shifts and vision switches were expected; my own expectation being that insightful anthems, which might reflect her transformed self, would redeem her brokenhearted ballads of prior. Instead, 25's a watered-down version of 21, offering nothing by way of progression and, at times, regresses to dull areas where 21 never ventured.

The topics Adele's singing about on 25 seem identical to 21, but now her messages feel either diluted or undefined - tragic silhouettes of their former counterparts. She is still singing to some ex-boyfriend who wronged her, “Send My Love,” and remembering times long past, “When We Were Young” and “Million Years Ago.” Yet, 25's totally absent of 21's power and punch. Now, she is halfhearted instead of brokenhearted; she is aching, but only barely. In my opinion, if anyone wants to sing about heartbreak, they need real passion, sadness, anger, whatever. There's nothing rousing about someone who is perpetually wallowing in long-ago burns that also healed ages ago. 25's a burn that is ready to recover, but resists, still trying to transform into two flaming torches, but instead of crashing into all of Adele's ex-boyfriends' windows, they fall short, tumbling into murky puddles below, extinguishing all former heat. That being said, if Adele is going to tell me who she wants and misses so much, she at least needs stories worth telling, and 25 misses that mark.

Apart from subject matter, Adele offers her signature booming choruses supplemented by understated instrumentation. She, however, has diversified a bit, replacing piano-driven melodies with refreshing new instrumental variation that energizes a mostly copycat album. She channels Florence and the Machine in fast-moving, synthed-up “Water Under the Bridge” and organ-based, theatrical “River Lea,” which features a visual, multi-layered and percussion-heavy chorus. In addition, bass and drum seem mixed higher, especially pronounced on "I Miss You.” Alongside loud drum and bass, Adele's vocals, characteristically devoid of any sort of delicacy, flourish in every song. Even "Hello," which has a simple, almost bland instrumental, is still enormous, which just reaffirms Adele's sheer vocal strength, as well as an ever-clearer reality that Adele is all lungs and not much beyond that.

25 supports that enjoying Adele follows enjoying her vocal timber. Well-structured songs with good production only help so much. She fails to show growth in nearly every aspect of this album whether it is songwriting or vocal variation even though she's had plenty of new experiences to help her construct a great album rather than 25, which has garnered tremendous success by being quality - quality that is perhaps too often associated with her.



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user ratings (311)
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
KrazyKris (3)
A consolidation of superstardom rather than a step forward....

related reviews

21

19

Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofusWainwright
November 24th 2015


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'd need a financial incentive to listen to this.

And that's coming from someone who listened to the latest Kid Rock album today purely out of morbid curiosity.



tommygun
November 24th 2015


26971 Comments


adele has always been super boring nice review

Tunaboy45
November 24th 2015


16811 Comments


What she does, she does efficiently.
Nice review.

zakalwe
November 24th 2015


29394 Comments


She's good as gold. Leave her be.

Tunaboy45
November 24th 2015


16811 Comments


You have to appreciate the success that she's had.

zakalwe
November 24th 2015


29394 Comments


You have to appreciate she's the sort of bird who'll nip into the petrol garage and come out with two twixes and a box of celebrations.

Tunaboy45
November 24th 2015


16811 Comments


Don't forget the bottle of Vodka.

Tunaboy45
November 24th 2015


16811 Comments


That co-op advert that's been on recently where people say "just popped in for a ____". Adele just popped in for some teabags and came out with a multipack double decker, a box of heroes, two advent calendars for her "nephews" and some crispy pancakes.

Toondude10
November 24th 2015


14126 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

finally got a review for this, pretty much agreed with everything here. This was a real letdown and probably one of the most disappointing releases this year.



good read btw

Ocean of Noise
November 24th 2015


10783 Comments


I've always liked Adele's songs, but her voice sucks.

Good review, congrats on the feature.

Digging: Buckethead - Walk In Loset

alienobserver
November 25th 2015


4494 Comments


she could probably make a classic album if everything about her besides her voice stopped being so boring

Archael
November 25th 2015


1163 Comments


newest single is sooooo super generic it makes me sad :/

TheMoonchild
November 25th 2015


1197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

All I Ask is a blatant ripoff of Without You by Badfinger



Great song though. I do like this album.

ShakerFaker
November 25th 2015


215 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

To whomever featured this thank you you made my day

AnimalsAsSummit
November 25th 2015


4393 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Album is Boretown, USA

Digging: Teebee and K - Black Science

Ryus
November 25th 2015


18124 Comments


hello is shit

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2015


16384 Comments


she should make a happy song. all this somber shit is for the birds

Lord(e)Po)))ts
November 25th 2015


48776 Comments


so what is the significance of the numbers that her albums are titled cuz i thought maybe they were just her age at the time of each release but she wasnt any of those ages at the time of any of the releases

Digging: Sega Bodega - self*care

Friday13th
November 25th 2015


7028 Comments


@TheMoonchild props for knowing Badfinger wrote it.

Digging: Stevie Wonder - Fulfillingness' First Finale

Archael
November 25th 2015


1163 Comments


so what is the significance of the numbers that her albums are titled cuz i thought maybe they were just her age at the time of each release but she wasnt any of those ages at the time of any of the releases
while she was recording/writing the songs, not while releasing them. so usually a year, maybe two before the album is released.



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