The cover of Adele’s new album “25” show just her face: no type face of her name nor the title of the album. Her last album, “21” has sold thirty million copies so clearly most people know who she is, and have heard most of her songs. I have to admit that when I got and listened to the album (breathlessly listening to it) the other night, I was sort of disappointed. The songs all blended to one song, and I felt it was a solid album, but oh so very safe and calculated.
And I still believe so, even though I have now to admit that it is a lot better than my first impression. I always thought the songs were solid (Collaborators include Bruno Mars, Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse just to mention a few) and taken individually, they shine more. I love the wistful funk/jazz dichotomy in “A Million Miles Away” where she talks about life now that’s he is famous, and how she missed the simpler days. And there’s a wink in “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” that tells us she is in on the joke. And when she goes full throttle in “When We Were Young,” you can’t help but feel awed by that voice – so raw, so precise, so unfiltered. It’s so unique, one note and you know it’s unmistakably Adele. But I still am lukewarm over “Hello,” as I view it too showy and “Remedy” seems to have been done too radio-ready for its own good.
Maybe that’s my problem with this new slick Adele – it’s a lot less heart on your sleeve than her previous albums, and I feel she only shows what she wants us to show, instead of full out bare. It’s still a sincere production, but there seems to be a limit now. But, ’25’ is still a good album, one that has layers that gets revealed in repeated listenings, and it is way and above better than anything out there. This will sell more millions, will break more records, will still break hearts, will win awards, and hopefully will gave Adele a will to take more risks next time, so she can even be better.