Adele’s has struck a collective nerve with her latest release “25”

I’ve never heard of Adele. I take that back, I apparently heard her in the intro to Skyfall, but I’m not sure that really counts.  It wasn’t until I heard “Hello” blowing up all over the internet, and saw her on Jimmy Fallon, that I even knew she was English, and sassy to boot.  So for those of you who have been stuck under a rock with me Adele is an English singe who has steadily rose in popularity since her first release 19 back in 2008.  For good reason, she’s got some pipes!

Album Thesis
Don’t let the past hold you back. It may be difficult, but it’s better to learn from your past, let it go and press forward.

Vocal Performance
I think that’s pretty well-known that Adele has an amazing voice. Her latest album 25 is no exception.  At times R&B, other times jazz-infused and even a little folky she seems comfortable in all scenarios.  The same can not be said for most vocalists who, like Keanu Reeves, get typecast into repackaging their earlier work.  That being said, many of the songs (with exception of standout tracks “Hello,” “River Lea” and “Send My Love To Your New Lover”) seem to blend together with little differentiation.  Though, this could have been an artistic choice to tie them together.  Overall, though not entirely, her melodies were creative and catchy and well sung.

Lyrically 25 is very personal project from a woman struggling with what we all deal with in our twenties: a transition to adulthood and the question of “Who will I become?”  Introspective millennials and young parents rejoice! You can find solidarity in your struggles with: getting older, regrets, longing for family and nostalgia and even understanding her new role as a parent.  It is the sincerity and personal nature of these lyrics that truly stuck out to me on an album with somewhat mediocre musicianship.

Musically this album is very “ballady,” if I can create a word.  It’s primary function is to serve as a backdrop to the amazing vocal talent of Adele.  Maybe that’s okay, but it’s not my preference.  I prefer a little more creativity in my musical accompaniment.  But, I believe this is more a hang up for me in my musical preferences than it is something to be used against this album.  As my friend Mark reminds me, good music doesn’t do more than the track requires.  You’re right Mark, I’m wrong.

Wrap Up Thoughts:
Would I purchase this album?  Probably not.  However, that’s more because it’s not really my style.  But I understand why Adele is as big as she is.  She has clearly struck a nerve with her brand of soulfully relatable jams.  The real question is, has she struck your nerve?

Let us know in the comments below and please checkout our podcast Musical Malarky Episode two where Mark and I discuss this very album.

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.