What is your relationship with Adèle? Maybe you’re one of the 277 million people who streamed Easy for me on Spotify, pending a return to long-lasting authorized (even encouraged) grief. Or you might be waiting for the delivery of another artist’s LP, cursing pop music and all that it stands for, as Adele decided to squeeze 500,000 copies of her latest album during a vinyl shortage. Either way, Adele is on our minds.
What is Adele Adkins thinking at 33? The same heartbreak that fueled her breakthrough, at 21, and propelled her to world stardom, at 25, lingers over 30, a record of melodrama, ballads and a hint of 1960s soul.
“I will bring flowers to the graveyard of my heart,” she begins on Strangers by Nature, played with all the warm timbre of an old gramophone. Sweeping strings, dismal organ, and Adele’s signature vocal range comfortably move through the beats. “Alright, so I’m ready,” she said at the end of the song. It’s a welcome injection from Adele, the likeable celebrity who is like us, before she strikes us again.
The nearly seven-minute film To Be Loved will feed grieving tourists and disturb the daylight of all who wish to continue. Still, you would listen to Adele sing the phone book, even at that mournful beat.
With titles like Love Is a Game, Cry Your Heart Out, and I Drink Wine, it feels like we got exactly what we asked for: lyrics to text your abandoned friends, to cry in the bath, to play the character of the thirty-something Adèle-auditor who renounces love. “I soak up everything for the fun of it, but now I only drink wine,” she sings on the last of these three tracks. “How can you not see how good I am for you?” She asks on Woman Like Me. A lesser singer, with lesser arrangements, wouldn’t get away with some of the histrionic proclamations, but Adele is no ordinary diva, and she succeeds (for the mostly).
In terms of sound, at least, all is not pessimistic. Oh My God’s kick drum and handclaps are reminiscent of the Rolling in the Deep era, when it got caught up in the post-Amy Winehouse frenzy of jazz-inspired chart singers. Can I Get It swaps the piano ballad for acoustic guitars and steel whistles, but while the background screams in the verses might be a tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, the chorus is more like Ed Sheeran in its greatest concentration. . The almost seven minutes To be loved is as long as a short film by Taylor Swift, which will feed the grief of tourists and annoy the daylight of anyone who wants to continue. Still, you would listen to Adele sing the phone book, even at this mournful beat.
There isn’t a single shock to these 12 tracks, all of which essentially sound like songs from Adele, but nods to Hollywood sheet music, 1960s soul and even her own catalog inject melodrama. necessary to achieve the most languid ballads. If you have recently suffered from heartache, your prescription is therefore to: take once a week with plenty of water; Do not exceed the stated dose. For the rest of us, it’s a tonic.