I bought the third studio album by English singer/songwriter Adele at 30 years old. This post is titled as such because it is a reflection of the time of my life and frame of mind I was in when I wrote this post.
The post contains content which features some of my humour and musings, my thoughts on Adele and her record, and the occasional pop culture reference.
So I guess I’ll start of by saying “hello, can you hear me?” No? Can you hear me now?
Adele – 25
released November 20, 2015
After she released her second studio album 21, Adele took something of a break from music. That break ended up being five years long. This is because while Adele had initially planned on using the hiatus to spend time with her son, when she did get back to work she wasn’t happy with the studio sessions and rescheduled several times before she finally found the material she needed to make something she was proud of. This happened in 2013, so it follows, that as per Adele’s previous two efforts, the album is dubbed 25. The content is thematic.
The album is incredibly focused, which is something we’ve come to expect from the singer at this point. She has become the queen of melancholy, and owns it rather vigorously.
The themes presented in the album can’t be said any better than by Adele herself.
My last record was a breakup record, and if I had to label this one I’d 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 20s. 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 read that statement and knew exactly what she meant. Having gone through my mid-twenties already and on the cusp of a new decade of life, not wanting to regret anything, but wise enough, humbled and imbued with experience from my 20s, her heartache resonates with me on a very personal level.
I read a review on vox.com before sitting down to write this one, and in it, the author said that “By the time I finished listening to 25, Adele’s first new album in almost five years, I’d completely forgotten that I’d been listening to it.” I originally thought she was going to pull the old bait and switch and demonstrate that Adele’s theme is so therapeutic, you forget about it afterwards, which would have been clever.
I disagree and believe that Adele WAS being clever.
The album showcases that she is more mature and aware of the passage of time, with literally every song providing commentary of some sort. If you want a record to inspire you to make art about the concept of time, then this is great source material.
The painful clarity behind a breakup as it happens is powerful in All I Ask, and the somber thoughts of youth characterize Million Years Ago so well. Hello is the first single, and a reminder that just because you’ve ended a bad relationship, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anguish and guilt that can follow.
I Miss You is a beautifully arranged tune that highlights the ache of being in love and how your heart can be afflicted with fear of separation even while in the same room. Listening to tracks like River Lea and When We Were Young remind me of how complicated emotions are and the challenges associated with perception.
Adele has a powerful and nuanced command of her voice and no matter what your favourite track, you will enjoy this one. I just hope the next record is called 30 and is released within 3 years.
I’m thankful to hear that Adele has joined the ranks of Neil Diamond, The Doors, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Oasis, Lionel Ritchie, Simon and Garfunkel and countless others with her take on greeting the world.
I hope you enjoyed today’s review my friends. See you tomorrow with a movie review about family.