Adele – 25
Pop | Soul
A fair few albums made ripples this year, but nothing like the tidal wave that followed the surprise return of one of the finest artists in modern pop. Her landmark album 21 is probably the most critically acclaimed and best selling album of the century thus far. Naturally that’s a tough act to follow and I feel many reviews have been overly critical. The main concern seems to be the lack of progress and innovation. Whilst you can’t get stuck in a rut and become a one trick pony, one shouldn’t make changes just for the sake of it. It’s often a fine line to walk and in Adele’s case 25 is a matter of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. She’s delivered one of the finest albums of the year and it doesn’t take long for it to start working it’s magic.
Whereas 21 was a bit top heavy, this album spreads it’s hits a bit more. The highlight of the album is certainly the central run of songs between ‘When We Were Young’ and ‘River Lea’ which flourish her magnificent voice and extinguish any doubts about her songwriting prowess. ‘Send My Love (To Your New Lover)’ sees her exploring more upbeat territory and ‘Million Years Ago’ strips things back to the bare bones. I could go on for a while about this album but really all you need to know is that it’s Adele; she is the greatest pop singer of a generation, the production is immaculate and the lyrics deliver on the promise to tug at your heartstrings. Does it live up to her previous album? Not quite… but it comes closer than I would have thought possible.