Shhh, please don’t tell everybody, but I never get the appeal of Adele, to be honest. I mean, sure, she is an above average vocalist, but her songs are, to me, nowhere near the levels of artistic genius that many people have claimed. She has put out some good pop songs, but I am never wowed or bowled over.
The world went crazy when Adele released her third album, 25, and some folks acted as if she was Pop Jesus, coming to deliver 2015 from darkness. But I actually feel underwhelmed by this one. The lead single, Hello, is basically another generic forlorn ballad which sees her complaining about how her successful career is isolating her from her old life, and that is so sad, snort. There are many other dreary and drab ballads of similar vein in this album, making the whole thing more like music for unhappy single people everywhere. There are some brief moments of musical glory, such as the playful beats of Send My Love (To Your New Lover), the seductive refrains of River Lea, and the heartfelt When We Were Young, but at the same time, the songs are all about various stages of unhappiness or getting over broken relationships.
From Hello, she sings these lines:
Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry
For a while, I almost thought she has experienced some kind of epiphany, but no, she’s back to being all “me, me, me, choke on it, my ex-boyfriends” all the time. It’s actually frightening to realize how much she and Taylor Swift have in common – they’d probably be best of friends if she lose a few dozen pounds and get a face lift to fit in with Ms Swift’s BFFs.
Also, something happened in the time prior to recording this album, because Adele’s voice here has a shrill and unattractive quality that can grate on the ears. Songs that initially sound good eventually become something else altogether when her voice starts to strain when she goes for the higher notes. I hope the poor dear is taking care of her voice.
25 is basically an album of unhappy relationships and the efforts to move on from broken romances, and it doesn’t break any new grounds. People who think Adele is the deepest and most profound musical genius since Mozart would lap this one up, while everyone else would just switch radio stations when her songs inevitably become overplayed to death.