We're in the midst of Adele euphoria. Her third album is less than 24 hours away from release, with the music industry waiting on tenterhooks to see if she can continue the outstanding run of her first two albums '19' and '21'.
- Adele's New Album '25' Leaks Online
- Adele Drops A Very, Very Big Second Song From New Album
- Adele Explains Why There Are No References To Her Son On '25'
London's biggest-voiced diva has already broken records with the first single 'Hello', followed by this week's treat of a live version of 'When We Were Young', so the bar has been set high. Ahead of the rest of the world jumping on the new album tomorrow, music critics have been treated to the first listens, and offered their thoughts accordingly. So what's their verdict? Another Olympic-sized stomper, or proof that noone's THAT good for ever? Here's our roundup of the first reviews to land on the page...
Huffington Post UK:
Fans of her first two albums '19' and '21' won't be disappointed, but there is plenty here to win over new fans too (if there's anyone left on the planet who doesn't actually own an Adele album yet).
Unsurprisingly, '25' is a highly polished set of songs, mixing big, bold production with stripped back moments. Yes, some of it is a tad predictable, but at the centre of it all is THAT voice, which has never sounded better.
For the most part, 25 sticks close to the formula of the best-known tracks on its predecessor. But the fact that she often ends up addressing a topic that’s already been fairly thoroughly addressed is a problem... Adele understands that less is usually more – but something is missing from them. The rawness, the emotional edge that was part of 21’s appeal is noticeable by its absence, replaced by what sounds less like closure and reconciliation than a certain pass-aggy bent... They’re not bad songs as such, but they feel slightly ordinary, distinguished only by her voice, a state of affairs compounded by the fact that the album largely proceeds at the same, fairly glacial pace. 25’s best moments come when someone pushes Adele – or Adele pushes herself – beyond just recreating former glories.
As both titles suggest, the theme of regretful reminiscence dominates the album in the autobiographical manner demanded these days of every R&B don and diva. There are isolated moments of musical intrigue scattered here and there through the album... But as 25 continues, it’s gradually swamped by the kind of dreary piano ballads that are Adele’s fall-back position.
No stars listed. On first listen '25' does not disappoint. If anything, it’s got bonus pop songs she didn’t have to do, but she’s done them with class. And if you want the Adele of Someone Like You, Love in the Dark should push all the right buttons.
Covering much of the same kind of musical and emotional terrain, '25' is certainly the equal of its predecessor. What it sacrifices in youthful rawness it makes up in maturity and sheer class... '25' is crammed top to bottom with perfectly formed songs – elegantly flowing melodies, direct and truthful lyrics and richly textured production – all sung as if her life depends on it... Musically, she stands squarely in the middle of the road, and it is only her earthy personality and soulful honesty that lends her any kind of cutting edge. But it would be churlish to carp when pop doesn’t come much more perfect than this. The beauty of Adele’s singing is how effortless it is. There’s real joy in her vocal, even when she is grappling with private pain. She loves to sing, and the world loves to hear her.
So there you have it. Has any of this influenced whether you'll be parting with your pennies? Thought not And just in case you need to hear some of the tracks yourself before forking out, Adele will performing some new music - and old, phew! - on a BBC Special with Graham Norton on Friday evening on BBC1.