Who’s ready to sob uncontrollably? After five years, Adele is back with a new album. 25 sounds familiar, but represents a more mature Adele—one who still delivers hits.
It’s the event we’ve all been hydrating for. Adele’s new album has arrived, and we’re all here, ready and waiting to weep and ugly cry and send our broken hearts hurtling through our throats as we shout along to some big ol’ torch ballads.
The release of 25, the sainted pop diva’s first new album in five years, is a strange one.
Culture has already ruled it brilliant without even hearing it. This review is almost a fruitless exercise. Everyone already knows the album is good; in their minds it’s life-changing, transcendent, aural euphoria. If we said otherwise, I’m not sure anyone would believe us. They certainly wouldn’t care.
Typically, frenzied anticipation and a din of buzz dooms a pop megastar, with the follow-up to the artist’s defining album almost always failing to live up to the pre-release hype. Lady Gaga’s Artpop and Katy Perry’s Prism certainly speak to that. But then here comes Adele, and, more importantly, Adele’s voice.
“Hello,” the first single from the album, was delivered straight from that sepia-toned windy forest where Adele lives—a land where years-long obsession over an ex is not creepy, but relatable—to break sales and streaming records. Its rapturous reception forecasted the tunnel-vision enthusiasm 25 would be met with.
We were there for her coy confessions whispered over soft piano twinkles, eventually giving way to her lion’s roar of heartbreak. We had missed slobbering over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while gazing stoically at the fire we set to our ex-boyfriends’ possessions, watching the flames dance over old photos as Adele sings in the background.
Maybe we’ve matured a bit in the years since 21. And Adele has, too.