25 IS GOOD BUT 21 IS STILL BETTER

ALBUM TITLE                        :        25

ARTIST                                   :        ADELE

GENRE                                    :        POP

DATE RELEASED                   :        2015

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Most pop stars or musical performers would really find it hard to top a previous effort which is not only a commercial and critical success but definitely a blockbuster if it were a movie.  Unfortunately, many were not able to do it like Alanis Morissette has yet to replicate half of the success her Jagged Little Pill has achieved or Lauryn Hill has yet to release a follow up album to her Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lady Gaga failed to create an art out of her follow up album to Born This Way.  By this time this review is published, everyone knows how Adele’s latest effort 25 ended up; a historic commercial and critical smash.

This one will lead to wonder as what are the things in the album that made it so.  There are a variety of reasons why:

First, the whole album is a pop ballad album and listeners are probably bored with the same stuff offered by radio.  It is believed that radio is no longer playing what the masses want but rather what DJ’s can earn in terms of payola and what record companies peddle.

Second, with the resounding success 21 has achieved so far.  Adele fans and music lovers are excited to own the next album and as days progressed more listeners were enticed to own her discography as they find her albums worth their time listening.

Third, Adele is an emotional artist and people want songs which they believed can relate to the emotions they are feeling at the moment.  Indeed, not all people want to “dance and sing, get up and do your thing” as Madonna once sung in her first album.

While the commercial success of 25 is inevitable, the critical acclaim it received borders on being biased thus, I say the album is overrated.  Part of the reasons could be that the whole album is too melancholy and only one emotion that you can feel and that is of longing.  After listening to whole record, you will find yourself escaping it for a long time as you do not want to wallow in self pity derived from heartache and wants to move one to better aspects of your life.

Musically, 21 is still the better album as it is more varied in terms of sounds unlike with 25 where slow tempo ballads rule the album.  In fact, I say that what she offered in this new record are songs which Melissa Manchester, Maureen McGovern, Jill Scott, and other torch singers did in many of their records but were dismissed or ignored by millions of listeners.  So, I urged these people to listen again to early pop ballad albums specifically those that were released during the seventies and discover that Adele is no ground breaking artist except maybe for her voice.

If you are expecting a “Rolling in the Deep” and “Rumor Has It” sound and vibe, then you are in for big disappointment. In fact, towards the latter part of the album, the piano and vocal combo vibe becomes too boring.  Even the themes of the song are already tried and tested with many female black singers but were not commercially successful and some of them found relative commercial success.  This raises the idea if listeners are more inclined to sympathize with white female singers singing torch songs than black female singers?

With that I rate this record 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Ratings Description:

1 star = Ignore it

2 stars= risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 = buy, keep, and treasure it

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