After a nearly four year absence, acclaimed British singer/songwriter Adele is back with a brand new album, “25,” that is already making an impact in the music industry.
“25” is becoming the highest selling album of 2015, selling 3.48 million equivalent album units according to Billboard in its first week.
With those sales, it’s an understatement to say this album was anticipated, but whether or not it was worth the anticipation is debatable.
Going into “25,” I hoped with the extra time Adele spent making this album that it would fix up the problems I had with her previous albums, but instead we get more of the same.
In fact, this is an incredibly safe album for Adele, not taking many stylistic shifts to her past efforts which isn’t entirely bad, but pretty disappointing.
Adele is an incredible singer and an extremely talented songwriter, but the production throughout this album is just kind of boring. Most of the songs are piano, acoustic, or orchestral based, the only exception being “I Miss You,” which does feature visceral percussion and great keys.
If there is anything Adele succeeds at with this album, it’s that almost everything feels genuine, excluding the track “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” which feels fake and processed.
Adele got big on the fact that she became one of the biggest artists in the world by being different than everyone else in the pop world at the time. People were getting sick of club bangers and just wanted something that felt classic and different, which Adele provided.
“Send Your Love,” though produced by pop writer/producer juggernauts Max Martin and Shellback, feels incredibly generic and unlike what Adele usually makes. It’s the only track she’s ever made that could easily be made by someone else, and no value would be lost.
One of the positives of this album is its stellar songwriting, seen especially in the track “When We Were Young,” co-written with up-and-coming indie rock singer Tobias Jesso Jr., whose emotional high points in the writing are highlighted greatly by Adele’s vocals.
That’s what most of the songs on this album all do well. Good songwriting and great vocals are only half the battle, though, as this album still suffers from boring production, which just knocks Adele’s powerful voice down a peg.
With how long it took for Adele to make this album, I had hoped she’d take some real artistic risks, but instead we got a safe album that’s slightly disappointing. If you’re already a fan of Adele, you will love this album, but if you’re not entirely convinced of her, like myself, this album won’t change your opinion.