All I Ask is about a last night with someone. I don’t know if it’s a sentimental ballad about a family member or…more than likely, an ex. THAT ex? I really couldn’t get the meaning on this one but the vocals are spot on with the backdrop of a minimalist piano.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ll know that Adele has returned. You might not know however that I have a hate/love relationship with the 25 year old pop sensation in that I hate to love her. I can clearly see that she’s got a belting set of vocals and she’s a decent songwriter but as a person, she’s not my cup of tea and I don’t get the obsession the rest of the human race seem to have with her. I think the only people who would agree with me on my dislike is Phil Collins and Damon Albarn following the recent reports that Adele has chosen to not include the songs they wrote and performed for the new album. To me, that’s not bad company and hopefully we can have some sort of meet up soon. Should be a decent night out if Phil doesn’t feel the need to repeatedly drum on the table. That could get annoying after a while. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know how it goes.
So, let’s talk about this highly anticipated album which most have been waiting 4 years for shall we? Hello. First track on the album and a fitting name. Clever in fact. This one word was teased during the ad of a recent X-Factor and the internet exploded with excitement. By my count, that’s two arses that have “broke the internet” this year. I was really hoping this was going to be a cover of the Lionel Richie classic but instead it’s a song to Adele’s younger self acknowledging past mistakes and apologising for putting herself through them. I initially made the mistake of thinking that she was still pining over her ex but how wrong I was. Is she finally over him?! It’s only taken her three albums but maybe she’s finally there. Although millions and millions of pounds would make you forget about someone wouldn’t it which is what she’s earned by banging on about him. It’s her current fella I feel sorry for. Having to listen to her banging on about her ex. Not too much pressure to make an impact on her like he did! That aside, I actually quite like this song. I’m sick of hearing it constantly but it’s good. Well done Adele, you’ve hooked me. I’m as surprised as anyone.
Shit. I spoke to soon. Track 2, Send My Love (To Your New Lover) might indicate she’s still pining for the ex lover. It’s a little more upbeat in its tempo than most Adele songs and sounds almost a little Reggae. I’m not on about Bob Marley level of Reggae. More, Las Ketchup. Fair play for trying something a little different though. A die hard fan I certainly am not but those who are might not like this potential glimpse in to the future sound of Adele.
Upon first seeing the third track is entitled I Miss You would lead you to believe the now legendary ex is DEFINITELY still on Adele’s mind. After doing some quick research however, this is a song for her current fella, Simon Konecki. It’s nice to see he gets some sort of recognition from her. Lyrically, it’s quite sweet to know her life isn’t all doom and gloom as past albums might indicate.
When We Were Young showcases Adele’s vocal range perfectly. From a bit of female crooning to the fully fledged pop sensation she’s become. A song everyone can relate to as we all grow older. Through my dislike, I’ve found that I enjoy Adele when the track is a fully stripped back one that allows her voice to do all the talking on its own.
Coldplay. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that Fix You is a great tune. And one written about being there for someone during a tough time. Fifth track Remedy is the new Fix You. It’s a really lovely song with lyrics such as “when the pain cuts you deep, when the night keeps you from sleeping; just look and you will see, I will be your remedy”.
Fair play. Is she actually a nicer person than I thought?!
Water Under The Bridge. I think this one is about her ex again. I really don’t know anymore if she likes him or not. Judging from all of the songs about him through the now three albums, I’m not sure but…I think I’m finally starting to realise that she’s learnt to get over him. Good for you. We’ve all had relationships we thought would last a lifetime but end suddenly. I just wish I would’ve made millions out of my ex’s like Adele has. I also realise that I might’ve been too harsh with my views on her. Maybe we could let our issues be water under the bridge as well?
River Lea is an ode to Adele’s hometown of Tottenham. She acknowledges how far she’s come in life and expresses that she can’t go back but will always have part of Tottenham in her. I’d guess that it’s the sound that comes out of her mouth when she speaks. More common than the rapper, Common. (Look him up). Quite a nice break from heartbreak and lost loves so yeah, quite enjoyed this one which shocked me. I really was expecting to hate every song (apart from Hello. I’m not having anyone slag that off).
Love In The Dark portrays someone trapped in a relationship they no longer want to be in. Another flawless vocal performance in this track and I actually listened to it twice in a row to get a proper sense of the message.
Million Years Ago sees Adele reminiscing on life before becoming recognised by every man, woman, boy, girl, dog, cat, hamster and snail; basically, she’s really popular and can’t nip out for 20 Benson & Hedges and a can of Irn-Bru anymore without getting bombarded by press and fans alike. Fame really does have its sacrifices. In parts, there’s some vocals that sound eerily like Amy Winehouse which really isn’t a bad thing. Could you imagine if Amy was still with us and did a duet with Adele. Those two powerful vocals, I don’t know if the world would cope.
We’re here. The final track on 25. Sweetest Devotion is a track aimed at yet again, her current partner. Lucky guy getting two songs about him. Only another 20 and you’ve caught up with her ex! It’s a nice song though about finally finding peace with yourself and moving on from past mistakes. The tempo is incredibly upbeat for an Adele song as well but proves her vocal range more from vulnerable to powerful in quick succession. A nice ending to an album I was expecting to hate but rather enjoyed listening to.
In typical review style, here’s my summary. It’s not bad. It’s definitely a safe album and not many risks were taken but why change a formula for success if said formula works and gains you an army of fans and cash? I’m even up for listening to the next album which I imagine will be an original title like 28, 29 or 30. (You heard it here first!)
So, there we have it. Who would’ve thought that I’d end up “not minding” an Adele album? I’ve never had any doubt that she’s a fantastic songwriter and has a great voice (when singing) and she’s a big fan of The Maccabees like myself. Who knows, maybe one day we can be friends. Damon/Phil – I’m sorry. I’m temporarily leaving the Anti-Adele club. To quote my new mate, “I wish nothing but the best for you” and…I’ll send you my membership card and badge back in the post.
Words by Robert Smith(@robertmsmith)