An In-Depth Review of Adele’s “25”

I am sitting here in my school’s humanities library with no kleenex. There are obviously many issues (with my tissues) in this situation. I am about to carry out a full listen-through of Adele’s latest and greatest body of work. Will my tears just be allowed to flow freely without intervention??? I suppose. If I drown every floor of this library, it’s not my fault (someone open a window) because ADELE’s gonna hit us with waves of oceanic feels whether you like it or not! Let’s begin.

Hello

Hello, it’s me. The first chords begin and Adele graces me with her comeback. So suitable. After all these years, homegirl already wants to meet up and hit me with the bill ($10.99 please!). This album is worth it, I know already.

The chorus begins and of course I’m humming along (in my head). Hello, although sometimes pronounced “hallo” in the chorus is Adele’s entrance back into our lives, and as the lead single, it’s known to hurt and butcher the souls of the living, deconstruct the fragile masculinities of crying men, and after a million listens… I can still feel my soul being trampled with the humble reconnections of an old friend who wants me to visit the other side.

It’s no secret that the both of us are running out of time.

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You must run, Homer. The feels are coming!

Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

New territory. So here’s a song that actually wasn’t in our head for weeks already. There is no bias any longer. This a first listen: Send My Love has a Lorde-y feel. It’s addictive, catchy, and fun-fun-fun! Adele serves BOPS. My head is numb.

Stripped down is the easiest way to describe this song. That’s similar to Adele’s first album, 19. But it’s also got the essential pop vibe. Somewhat new territory for Adele as I’d consider her earlier work something that just isn’t pop. Maybe alternative? Maybe soul? Nonetheless, Send My Love proves that Adele is OVER IT. She’s made peace with her lover’s past. Bless her!

We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts.

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“Don’t do it, Adele.”

I Miss You

The echoes start the song. They’re intoxicating. I’m hooked already.

Then the dark and heavy drums come in and Adele has stolen my entire existence! I’m getting a sexual Beyoncé (the album) vibe and I’m loving it! Send My Love was cute, but this is HOT.

Pull me in, hold me tight, don’t let go, baby, give me life.

Calling it, this is my FAVE. Ugh. ADELE YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME. (Not in a library).

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“You don’t know what I’m feeling.”

When We Were Young

So we were teased this song from that thing, you know? The thing. It was a trailer for a “60 Minutes” special: a closer look into Adele’s private life. She sang it live and we all knew it would be a classic.

Let me photograph you in this light in case it is the last time that we might be exactly like we were before…

So this one gives you that nostalgic vibe. I’m missing everything now. The past, the present, the future AND IT HASN’T EVEN HAPPENED YET! This song reminds me to constantly take pictures, to share my past with others, to spread my memories.

I’m so mad I’m getting old, it makes me reckless.

Jeez. I feel old at 20, I can’t imagine where Adele’s at in the ‘feeling old’ department since, you know, she’s currently 27! Guys and gals, remember to share your experiences with the world! No regrets, no regrets.

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Take a picture, it’ll last longer. Or a GIF.

Remedy

Sad piano instrumental starts us off. Girl’s serving a pure lullaby. A beautiful one that you can cry to when overstressed. Adele is an angel spirit. Yes, Adele, you will be our remedy. You will help us heal the world.

The chorus has got a similar vibe to “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus but it’s not as belty and monumental. It maintains the strength, though. This is just a very chill song and it makes me sadder than I was before. But somehow I know it will be the remedy at the end of the day… like all of Adele’s songs. On that note, I’m pretty sure this is Adele’s theme song.

I promise you will see, I will be your remedy.

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When they tell you to smile but you’re about to fall apart.

Water Under The Bridge

Let’s get upbeat again. Someone squeals a tune in the background of this tune right from the start. This squealer is excited obviously! Excited for more bops!

This song is definitely single material! The cute riffs throughout the verses, the squealing girl completing the chorus, the beautiful harmonies, the constantly ticking, thumping, shaking beat… Get on it, Adele.

Say it ain’t so. Say that our love ain’t water under the bridge.

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“You and me together, nothing gets better.”

River Lea

The harmonies are HUMMING. This starts off beautifully. Sounds like a beautiful sister to “Fix You” by Coldplay (just by the humming harmonies). Adele is very self aware. Girl knows what people think of her. That she needs to lighten up or move on. Kudos. Mid-verse, I am VIBING. This is just so funky.

The chorus kicks in nice and slow and Adele reminds us why she sticks to her “roots” and “veins”. This is that “I’m not gonna change for you” song. Adele, you’re hitting all the bases and ticking every box! Other than that, River Lea is so beautifully funky and starts off so badass, I wish the chorus felt bigger. What can I say? Every album has to have a weak point!

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“Honey, you wish I would change for you.”

Love in the Dark

Beautiful intro. Adele reminds us that sometimes she gets shy and she needs love in the dark. Same girl, same.

We’re back into slow jam territory and Ms. Turning Tables gives us creeping imagery about distance.

Feels like we’re oceans apart, there’s so much space between us.

This feels monumental and sad. Lonely even. Adele can’t love us in the dark. This is the Someone Like You of the album. Not necessarily in popularity or single-worthiness, but this song truly is one of the saddest and haunting.

I don’t think you can save me.

Tough world. Tough world.

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Adele, you in there?

Million Years Ago

Let’s discuss how reminiscent the first line is in tune to “Phantom of the Opera.” So of course, this tune feels GRAND from the start. It’s so beautifully stripped down. The hums are so haunting, jeez.

I know I’m not the only one who regrets the things they’ve done. Sometimes I just feel it’s only me who can’t stand the reflection they see. I wish I could live a little more. Look up to the sky, not just the floor. I feel like my life is flashing by and all I can do is watch and cry […] I miss my mother, I miss it when life was a party to be thrown, but that was a million years ago.

Pardon the long quote and pardon my language, but fuck. “I Miss You” is my favourite BOP on the album, but this song… this song’s got me bawling. It’s so beautifully haunting… I’m dead.

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Call your mother.

All I Ask

I know this tune’s about to make me fall apart. 

All I ask is if this is my last night with you, hold me like I’m more than just a friend. Give me a memory I can use, take me by the hand, […] what if I never love again?

The penultimate track. I’m dying. The feels are intense, immense, in-tents. I’m missing an ex I never knew right now. I’m falling apart like I actually am Adele in a hotel room with my lover knowing it actually is my last night with him. She’s so right. All I Ask is for you to give me that lasting memory. Because, truly, what if I never love again? Holy.

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“Don’t go” indeed.

Sweetest Devotion

This final song starts off meditative. It’s a wrap-up of everything we’ve experienced. It’s a catharsis for Adele, and I’m pretty sure it’s about her little son. Isn’t that just adorable?

Hit me like an explosion. All of my life I’ve been frozen, the sweetest devotion I know. (woo hoo!)

It’s so beautiful how perfectly placed these tracks are. Adele gives you that taste of sadness and then throws it straight back to the upbeat lineup. This back-and-forth arrangement of tracks ultimately makes 25 feel more cohesive as you don’t get lost in one mood for too long. Sweetest Devotion is a perfect final track as it summarizes the one thing we can all take from 25: With this culminating body of art that wraps up her life-to-date; that ties healing and catharsis to melody, Adele proves that she has made peace with her world. Now you can too.

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