Photo from geeksandbeats.com
By Justin Cole
The age of 25 has become something different for all of us. Some of us will be out of school by this age. Some will be married, divorced or expecting a child. Some of us may still be hanging around our old high school to reclaim the glory days, while pushing our career as a “DJ” at parties where you are clearly the only one of age to drink—I mean come one, that kid on the keg is barely even 16.
Yes, it’s safe to say that 25 is a confusing time for everyone, yet it is defining because the decisions we make—bad or good—begin shaping the path of our life.
If anyone understands this, it’s Adele, and she makes it known on her long-awaited new album “25.” The english songstress has had a flourishing career, having released two multi-platinum selling records with her latest album on track to earning that title in its first week. She has successfully taken a break, had a child and come back better than ever. This is something that needs some special attention so without further ado…
Here is a definitive, track-by-track analysis of Adele’s new album “25.”
We went in-depth to review this one a couple of weeks ago, so I would suggest checking it out here! Nonetheless, it’s an amazing introduction to the album.
2.) Send My Love (To Your New Lover):
“We gotta let go of all of our ghosts. We both know we ain’t kids no more.”
This song is a huge departure from the regular sound of Adele. The track has more of a produced pop sound then the piano and string driven songs of her past. It sounds so different from what she usually does, yet it still has something that makes it an Adele song. It’s that factor that nobody can put their finger on but your know it when you hear it.
3.) I Miss You:
“I miss you when the lights go out. It illuminates all of my doubts.”
This song is true to the songstress’ style, but it incorporates huge, almost industrial drums and soundscapes. The song puts you in the exact place Adele is singing from. It starts dark and doesn’t ever really leave that space.
(Sidenote: Adele’s background vocals are on point for the almost the entire album. This song is the first time where you truly hear it.)
4.) When We Were Young:
“We were sad of getting old it made us restless, I’m so mad I’m getting old it makes me reckless.”
This is probably the most moving song on the album. It encapsulates the head space that Adele is writing from on this album. The album is written about saying goodbye to your youth and struggling with the concept of getting older. In addition, the arrangement of the song is so simple and beautiful, which leaves room for the performer’s voice to soar. There is also a note that Adele hits towards the end that just punches you right in the gut and gives you chills.
(And for all of you doubters, check out the live performance on SNL)
“But when the pain cuts you deep, when the night keeps you from sleeping, just look and you will see, that I will be your remedy.”
“Remedy” is an interesting song that sounds very similar to “Someone Like You” with a piano and light string orchestration. It shows the value of companionship in a time of change and worry. Being that she has had a child, it could also be written as advice to her child as it grows up,
(Fun fact: Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, co-wrote this song)
6.) Water Under The Bridge:
“If you’re gonna let me down, let me down gently. Don’t pretend that you don’t want me. Our love ain’t water under the bridge.”
So picture this: Ella Fitzgerald gets together with The 1975 in the studio to record a brand new song. Okay, now substitute Adele in Fitzgerald’s place, and let your ears enjoy this deceptively energetic song about heartbreak and love lost.
7.) River Lea:
“But it’s in my roots, in my veins. It’s in my blood and I stain every heart that I use to heal the pain.”
Adele uses this “River Lea” as a symbol of carrying something with you that was part of your past. She talks about having the river in her and how it gets into whomever she falls in love with. Sonically, it is a smooth song, a laid-back drumbeat and piano organ chords take the front and drive the song. However, it does come across as a bit lyrically repetitive towards the end of the song.
8.) Love You In The Dark:
“I can’t love you in the dark. It feels like we’re oceans apart.”
“Love In The Dark” is another swirling ballad that once again gives us “the feels” in all the right ways. The song talks about the struggle of being in a relationship that has clearly lost all of its love and has been in the dark for a while. She sings about the difficulty of trying to leave and whether it’s worth the pain.
9. Million Years Ago:
“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.”
Lead by simply a classical guitar, Adele pours her heart out onto a track about the depression of growing up and having to sacrifice the things you love. The simple backing instrumentation forces you to pay attention to the words and their delivery. This is important because this is the most honestly written song on the album.
(Warning: this track will make you cry.)
10. All I Ask:
“If this is my last night with you, hold me like I’m more than just a friend”
In all honesty, while I loved this album dearly, I had begun growing tired of just hearing a piano and vocal arrangement. However, when the arrangement grew old, Adele’s honesty in her voice revived my ears. This song is a prime example of this same principle. She delivers the most emotionally charged performances on the record. You can practically hear the sadness in her voice as she tries to cling to what’s left of a dying relationship.
11. Sweetest Devotion:
“I’ve been looking for you baby. In every face that I’ve ever known”
In a stirring conclusion to “25,” this song creates an increasingly ambient sound scape with distant electric guitars, echoing backing vocals and bellowing drums. It serves as a light at the end of the tunnel after such a hopeless subject matter. It talks about falling in love with the right person and how it isn’t always what you think it’ll be.
If you like Adele, you might like: Andra Day, Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith