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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

25

Adele

2015

Buy At Rough Trade
25
Album Summary

25 is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Adele, released on 20 November 2015 by XL Recordings and Columbia Records. The album is titled as a reflection of her life and frame of mind at 25 years old and is termed a "make-up record". Its lyrical content features themes of Adele "yearning for her old self, her nostalgia", and "melancholia about the passage of time" according to an interview with the singer by Rolling Stone, as well as themes of motherhood and regret. In contrast to Adele's previous works, the production of 25 incorporated the use of electronic elements and creative rhythmic patterns, with elements of 1980s R&B and organs. Like when recording 21 (2011), Adele worked with producer and songwriter Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder, along with new collaborations with Max Martin and Shellback, Greg Kurstin, Danger Mouse, the Smeezingtons, Samuel Dixon, and Tobias Jesso Jr. 25 received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its production and Adele's vocal performance although some were critical of its formulaic nature and Adele's lack of taking risk. Issued nearly five years after the release of her second album, the internationally successful 21, the album was widely anticipated and Adele's record labels promoted the album with an extensive marketing campaign. 25 became a massive commercial success, debuting at number one in 32 countries and breaking first-week sales records in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom and United States. In the US, the album sold over 3.38 million copies in its first week of sales, marking the largest single-week sales for an album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991. 25 was the world's best-selling album of the year for 2015, with 17.4 million copies sold within the year, and has gone on to sell over 22 million copies worldwide, making it the fourth-best selling album of the 21st century, the second-best selling album of the 2010s (behind 21), and one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Following 21, it was certified Diamond by the RIAA, making Adele the only artist of the 2010s to achieve this certification with two albums. Four singles were released to promote the album, with "Hello" becoming an international number one song and the fastest selling digital single in the US, with over a million copies sold within a week of its release, "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" charted within the top 10 and "When We Were Young" and "Water Under the Bridge" charted within the top 20 across Europe and North America. Credited for impacting the music industry by encouraging a renewed interest in buying physical releases rather than downloading or streaming and much like 21, for saving the dwindling sales of the global music industry, 25 won the 2016 Brit Award for British Album of the Year, and the 2017 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. To promote the album, Adele embarked on her third worldwide concert tour, Adele Live 2016. It started on 29 February 2016 and ended on 30 June 2017. The concert broke numerous attendance records across the globe and grossed $167.7 million.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.38

Votes

12465

Genres

  • Pop

Reviews

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View Author
Tue Mar 22 2022
2

2.7 - How can Adele be so talented and yet so boring? This record is totally devoid of any risks, and presents no distinct point-of-view. She's a young woman who's lived with heartbreak, has had a chance to process her pain privately and is ready to move forward with her life. Wow, Adele, so profound, and yet so relatable - it’s like she’s one of us! And I hate that she's consistently chosen to share only the most tiresome parts of her love-life. We see her always at the “crossroads”, saying goodbye with sincere regret but looking ahead to what's next. Has she never experienced the fun of being in love? The giddiness of meeting someone, the anticipation of being intimate? And why has she chosen to sanitize her pain? It's all very vague. Where are the tears that left smears of mascara on her face? What about the hours spent jealously stalking a lover on Facebook? I'm sure critics have praised this as a "mature" record (*wretch*). As expected, Adele's voice is luscious - she's truly blessed. But why use that exceptional voice to convey only the most unexceptional, "everywoman" feelings? By the end I find all the operatic belting and "you-got-this-girl" sentiments nauseating.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
4

I'm not quite sure if I'm ashamed to admit this or not, but I really like Adele's music. She is an undeniable, generational talent. And it's not just the voice, but the authenticity. Not sure what else to say really. Any album that has this many hits (even in today's over-commercialized market) is impressive.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
2

Normally not my genre... But she is so f**king talented. Her voice is tremendeous, but the record becomes repetative, as there is not much development. A solid album, well produced. Removed from the list (2018), and surely there are new albums that can replace this one.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

I'm surprised I've never sat down and listened to the whole album before. What a tour de force.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
3

Nr. 11/1001 Hello 4/5 Send My Love 4/5 I Miss You 2/5 When We Were Young 3/5 Remedy 2/5 Water Under the Bridge 3/5 River Lea 2/5 Love In the Dark 2/5 Million Years Ago 2/5 All I Ask 2/5 Sweetest Devotion 2/5 Average: 2,55 Great voice, she just does so little with it

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

Very powerful and talented. Closer to a 4 than I expected though. I had to listen twice to get hit by the melancholy nostalgia that runs through the album. Make me ache for a simpler time.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Adele is who I listen to when I need to be sad and empowered at the same time.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
5

10/10 Adele must be protected at all costs.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Pretty stellar album with incredible vocals and strong songs from start to finish. 9/10.

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Fri May 20 2022
5

Love her music and this album. Some of these songs are heart-wrenching that's so good.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

One of the best singers of our generation. Album makes you happy sad.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

I enjoyed listening to this. I especially liked the songs that I hadn't heard before. I don't know that it'll cause me to listen to her more. The biggest obsession about Adele that I have is the fact that Rick Beato is obsessed with her. I LOVE to listen to him talk about her!

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Wed Jun 15 2022
2

Like the depth of her feeling and voice but don't think either are served by the orotund phrasing and production

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Sat Oct 21 2023
5

Ok, I wasn't a big fan of Adele... until I heard this album. Practically drenched in emotional quotient, 25 is sad, happy, and everything in between. Adele's voice is also incredible. The leadoff song, Hello, is a prime example of Adele at her best. After 25 I went back and listened to the rest of her albums. While her style is not my daily drive, she executes jazz influenced pop better than anyone in the past 40 years.

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Sat Oct 21 2023
5

Love this album. Adele is amazing

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Tue Oct 24 2023
5

Loved it. ‘Remedy’ is a favourite. Great song writing

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Hello, I loved it! What a set of pipes and a good album to sing along to.

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Tue Oct 31 2023
5

Adele’s voice is amazing, almost perfect in my opinion. They way she uses it to convey the emotion in her songs is even more incredible. Incredible talent as a singer and songwriter. I’m glad I listened to this album, having only heard the songs the radio stations destroyed by overplay. But “when we were young” had me remember when I was young and I felt that regret of getting older “My God this reminds me, of when we were young, Let me photograph you in this light, In case it is the last time,That we might be exactly like we were” “Love in the Dark” heartbreaking and her voice conveys the pain. “I can’t love you in the dark it feels like we oceans apart” she cries out. “River Lea” so soulful…”I can’t go back to the river”. “A million years ago” again going back to youth with a simple but beautiful song. “I feel like my life is flashing by and all I can do is watch and cry” “I miss you” the pounding drums to her personal lyrics. And of course the singles, hello, send my love (to your new lover) and water under the bridge. All great songs but overplayed in my opinion. Which had I had I been hearing for the first time I think would have been great. But I had only heard the singles and this album, I feel, needs to be listened to beginning to end to feel the emotion of her regret & fear of growing older. This is not a typical album I would listen to but so glad I did.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

One of the best albums of Adele.

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Sun Nov 19 2023
5

Great album in a great discography. Some songs hit a lot better than others, but no bad songs. Repeats:hello, when we were young, remedy, all I ask Skips: river lea

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Fri Nov 24 2023
5

Adele has a beautiful, strong voice. An excellent album of hers.

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Sat Nov 25 2023
5

voice of an angel. literally unskippable. 10/10

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Wed Apr 24 2024
5

Great voice, great lyrics full of feelings, great album.

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Mon May 15 2023
4

Excellent album. Now that some time has passed, I can appreciate "Hello" again. When the album first came out, that song definitely reached a point of oversaturation. (Do you remember when it was the #1 song and some pop stations didn't know what to do with a sad, dramatic song so on weekends at night they'd play these horrible EDM remixes of it? Man, that used to drive me crazy haha) But it's a powerful song and a great opener. "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" is one of my favorite Adele songs. Such a great hook. Damn, "Water Under the Bridge" is another powerhouse song. And "River Lea" is another jam in the same vein. There are a handful of songs on this album that... well, I don't want to call them filler because how could a song with stunning vocals and immaculate production be called filler? But there are a few like "Remedy" and "Love in the Dark" that are beautiful in the moment but quickly melt away once they're over. Adele's such a good singer though that she could sing the dictionary. That's the thing about her, right? And there are also some good album cuts too. I really liked the dramatic and sexy "I Miss You" and the triumphant closer "Sweetest Devotion."

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Tue Oct 25 2022
3

78/100: Ok this album serves its purpose. Each song is very specifically targeted to a certain emotion and situation, albeit most of the emotions are some variant of heartbreak. The strength of this album lies in that writing style. When you’ve gone through something similar to what’s sung about on a song in this album, it’s incredibly powerful; however, the biggest weakness of this album is the other edge of that sword. If you haven’t gone through something that’s sung about on this album (which is a much safer bet than the alternative), those songs kind of suck. Adele really trusts the empathetic and even sympathetic abilities of her listeners. Most people aren’t naturally empathetic or sympathetic. I like to think most people can be with some effort, but I don’t listen to music to try to connect to what the artist was going through. The songs from this album that I feel echo my own experiences are incredible. I could listen to them over and over again. The rest (i.e. most of them) are hard to listen to once.

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View Author
Tue Apr 09 2024
3

Adele is a once in a lifetime vocalist, and to be fair, you can definitely sense it in this album. I think the songwriting shines as well at many high moments. What I don't really get is why she thought she needed the super modern bombastic production at certain songs. To be honest, it just makes her sound a bit weak. Your a diva, Adele, you don't need to do anything to prove it.

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Fri Apr 19 2024
3

Obviously, Adele has a great voice. The issues with this album do not stem from her singing. Instead, they stem from the "Ed Sheeran-ification" on most of the biggest hits. "Send My Love..." is over-saturated pop trash, and I tend to like pop music. Songs where Adele shows more vulnerability with relaxed production really carry this album, even though they weren't the hits from when it came out. I definitely understand why this album is on the list, but the biggest hits are generally the worst part of it. Best Songs: Hello, I Miss You, Million Years Ago, Sweetest Devotion Worst Songs: Send My Love..., Remedy

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Wed May 15 2024
3

A great voice largely wasted on risk-free pop songs....

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Wed Mar 16 2022
2

Average singer Adele returns with some more radio songs. This set is a little less show-tuney, a bit more The Knife lite. Not for me.

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Fri Jun 23 2023
2

Hello, you claim you're on the other side. The following 40 minutes of caterwauling about your permanent heartbreak determined this to be a lie. Remains the gold standard for painful production to my ears. Like the equivalent of those deep fried memes. The vocal fry and squeaking now lives inside my brain. No great mystery why she struggled with vocal chord injuries. The rockers here are actually fairly good. Specifically Send My Love, Under the Bridge, and River Lea. But holy hell are the ballads excruciating, and the second half is completely drowned in them.

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Sat Oct 28 2023
2

Eh, 2-3 good songs but has nothing on 21 and not deserving of being in this list!

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Sun Apr 14 2024
2

Before listening: I don't hate Adele, I just don't want to listen to Adele. Her album 21 was really good. When this came out, I remember not giving a shit. That song Hello, was apparently like a Lionel Richie song. I don't give a shit about Lionel Richie so I didn't care about that song. That being said, I'm gonna give this a whirl, and I bet I'll be pleasantly surprised. After listening: I found this album to be a little less than alright. I didn't like most of the songs, in fact I only liked three songs, but those three songs were amazing. The rest was pop drivel.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
1

meh.... even if i'm extremely open-minded on this one... it's just boring to me and got bored right after the third track. Also, i never understood why people love Hello and feel that it's emotional... it just comes out corny to me...

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View Author
Wed Jun 01 2022
1

Does anyone buy it when these low-end department store background music singers get writing credits? Every song on this album was written by a different person/writing team - there's no way Adele's involvement extended beyond changing a few vocal lines once she was already in the studio. I'm also gonna put on my hipster hat and say it: this is horrendously factory-produced pop drivel. The songs feel like they came from a textbook, they're full of manufactured emotion and presented as an immense personal journey for Adele. Which begs the question: was said journey just as immense for the other 50 people who wrote this shit? 1/5.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
1

Boring. At every point they chose safe and simple. This could have been made by any half talented singer in any era.

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Mon May 06 2024
1

It's funny reading all the accolades about the album on Wikipedia. Best selling this, best selling that, blah blah blah. They all seem to miss the fact that it's self indulgent mush of boring songs written by dull people with no sense of wit or craftsmanship. I will admit Adele has a good voice but it's wasted on this bathetic set of songs, perfectly posed and postured for the post x factor generation.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Incredible album, will stand the test of time I'm sure

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Wed Jul 27 2022
5

The Hello video only has 2.9B views. I figure if I watch it a few more times, I can be the 3 billionth view. That's cool, right? RIGHT? Such a powerhouse. It really is true. Heartbreak brings out the creativity of artists. Jagged Little Pill, Tragic Kingdom, Rumors.

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

Really good voice and great harmonies. Not just all boring pop songs, has some nice rhythms and indie flare

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Love Adele! So passionate and gets the listener to really connect to the lyrics in their own way. My fav song was Water Under the Bridge.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Sing this one at the top of your lungs and you will feel better for it! Such a powerful album and means alot to me personally. Adele has one of the most powerful voices and each song ignites a new feeling deep within whether it be anger, heartbreak, love etc. Favourite songs: When we were young, Love in the dark

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

The first album that was already part of my listening library - one that I listen to in full occasionally because it is an *experience.* I'm not sure how true it is but I heard this year that Adele wrote Hello to her younger self and ever since, I listen to it differently. She transmits an extraordinary amount of emotion through song, and seven years later, I still get chills listening. I adore Hello, Send My Love, I Miss You, Remedy, Water Under the Bridge, River Lea, Million Years Ago.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

I was caught off guard at how much I enjoyed the songs that weren’t hits on this album. 9/10

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

Beautiful every song. Adele’s voice is heavenly and heartfelt.

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Hello, I miss you, When we were young, Water under the bridge, River Lea,

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Wed Dec 21 2022
5

Adele’s best album. Every song is a catchy bop.

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Mon Jan 02 2023
5

Beautifull the ups and downs high and lows the overall tension but relaxed feel is amazing

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Tue Mar 21 2023
5

This one's full of some really great break-up and a few wedding songs. Makes me wish I had bridesmaids and a guy who really dicked me over. This came up on my list back in late October '22 when I was on my honeymoon in London. So I was listening to it then, which for some reason made it feel different. Being in the artist's country of origin when it's not your own.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

It's fucking Adele. What do you expect? Beautiful melodies and piano. All I ask for in an album from her.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
5

So much drama and emotion. Incredible voice. Fantastic songs. Adele is a treasure. She could sing the phone book and I would listen.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

Such a passionate and soulful voice

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Sun May 14 2023
5

Although not as diverse and versatile as her "21" album, it's again very impressive what Adele delivers on this album. Seemingly every second song has been a radio hit and while one has to admit that she obviously has sort of a formula, I can't argue or knock it down because the formula is gold and works very well

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Sun May 14 2023
5

Just a great album. Sadder in theme and quite personal in delivery. Adele kills the vocals and the high production carries throughout. Top songwriting with emotion coming out. This is a benchmark for pop musicians in writing ballads.

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Sun May 21 2023
5

This was my first Adele album and wow was it powerful. Maybe it’s just where I’m at in life right now but it was hard emotionally to get through some of the tracks. This one I could definitely see myself listen to again, but only if I wanted to sob.

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Sat May 27 2023
5

she's amazing, beautiful album

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Tue May 30 2023
5

Man I forgot how good this album is. She's definitely the best vocalist of the past decade or so. This album is pretty sad though. A lot of love and loss. But dang she can belt a note like nobody's business.

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Wed May 31 2023
5

Holy this album is so good. And to think I almost didn’t listen to it. Almost had me singing/dancing along. 9.5/10

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Tue Jun 06 2023
5

Wow I am going to hate myself for doing this. I usually am NOT a pop fan. I find it generic and shallow. But I am rating this one 5/5 stars. Is it because I haven't gotten a 5 star album yet and I really wanted one? Possibly. Is it because I am familiar with Adele and already know her sound? Possibly. Is it because this album was impeccable, with so much feeling and insane vocals? Possibly. Adele, I don't know what you did, but that was an amazing album.

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Mon Jun 12 2023
5

The vocal arrangements on this album are probably the best of all-time. I think this close to a perfect album.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
5

Music for crying. Showcases her incredible voice. Not what I need on a sunny day though.

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Sat Jul 08 2023
5

Truly the voice of the 20teens. Every track is worth a listen and the first two make the list of the top 1000 songs of the millenia if not ever.

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

The production is like an email where the entire contents are in bold, italics, and underlined. It's a well-crafted cocktail that's a little too bitter, too sour, too sweet, too fizzy, and too strong. Compared to 21, Adele's vocal sounds powerful and clear but the music is a bit forward on 25. Some tracks are worse than others and the B-side does sound better. Besides the complaints about the shiny backing tracks, the songs are great and the lyrics are emotional but not overwrought. The album closer is a banger.

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Sat Jul 22 2023
5

she has no creativity for album names

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Thu Jul 27 2023
5

Absolutely fantastic. Without Amy Winehouse, we wouldn't have Adele. She has one of the most soulful & powerful voices in modern music. Beautifully performed. I ended up also listening to 21 since this album got me in the mood for Adele. 4.5 stars

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

Adele continues to display an inspiring talent for singing. This album did have a consistent theme and style that left me wanting a bit more variety, but that tends to be my preference, and it felt like variety wasn't the point of the album.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

As much as I love this album, I was surprised to see it was on the list. However, this is actually my favourite Adele album (excluding 30 as I have yet to listen to it). I don't listen to Adele often, though, so it was fun to revisit this after quite some time. I remember having mixed feelings about this when it came out. For some reason I couldn't stand "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" and "I Miss You," both of which I love now. And back then, I was a very harsh critic of music. Not liking a couple of songs meant the album wasn't it. Despite the fact that the album contained two songs I already loved, and I also really connected with several other songs on it on first listen. Despite this, though, this album had quite an impact on me, and now it's just really nostalgic of my high school days. Especially the songs "Hello" and "When We Were Young." I was 14 when "Hello" came out, and I loved it the first time I heard it. It was everywhere that year, but for me, it never got old. At the time, though, my favourite Adele song was "Someone Like You." That changed when I was 17 and heard "When We Were Young" the first time. I was immediately taken by the melody of the chorus, and for a while, it became my favourite Adele song. Weirdly, I always used to say that the song felt "nostalgic even the first time I heard it." I'm not entirely sure why. I guess because a large part of the lyrics are based around memories, and it's kind of an old fashioned style like most of Adele's music? So that was when I decided to listen to the album. Although I've got to say that despite my favourite Adele song changing often back then, no Adele song has had the staying power for me that "Hello" has had. Every time I hear it, I just can't help screaming along the chorus. In fact, the first four songs of the album are just incredibly nostalgic, and I screamed along the choruses of "Send My Love" and "When We Were Young" too. I even sung along loudly to "I Miss You," which I don't know quite as well. As I said, I love it now. What about the rest of the album? Well, several songs hit me from the get go, although I downplayed how much I loved them for far too long. "All I Ask," "Sweetest Devotion," "Million Years Ago" and "Remedy" are all incredibly powerful. In fact, I want to particularly highlight "Million Years Ago"- I honestly can't believe Adele has such a powerful deep cut hidden away, and I always forget how hard hitting it is until it plays and I've got tears streaming down my face. The other three tracks: "Water Under The Bridge," "River Lea" and "Love in the Dark?" Well, they're okay. They don't let the record down majorly, but they're not quite on the same level to me. Favourite tracks: Hello, Million Years Ago, When We Were Young, All I Ask, Sweetest Devotion, Remedy

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Tue Aug 15 2023
5

Вау. Очень красивый звук, превосходный голос Адель. Я впечатлен. 5 звезд.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

what an absolute classic holy shit there is so much good stuff here I cant even begin to describe how impactful her words and rythm. it cuts to the core of a being without having experienced the level of heartbreak you can still feel how viscerally real it was to her. Just Iconic and a great artist and album.

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Mon Sep 04 2023
5

C'était cool, rien à redire

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Sat Sep 09 2023
5

Again with the voice cannon. This was a fantastic and emotionally mature journey through love and loss. Outstanding.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

why did adele cross the road? to say "hello" from the other side

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Sat Sep 23 2023
5

Always loved Adele’s music. 25 is probably one of my favourites. Pure Artistry.

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Wed Sep 27 2023
5

My first 5/5 and I’ve had a Dylan and Bowie album so far. I mean holy shit this is good, I was annoyed I got an Adele album today but I mean holy shit. Banger after banger. Piano, guitar, and strings are *chefs kiss*

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Tue Oct 10 2023
5

This record is a fucking masterpiece. Yeah, yeah. I know. She didn't take any risks, blah, blah, blah, but why would she? Not every great piece of music needs to be novel and groundbreaking to be good. She is a phenomenal vocal talent; and her decisions on how to use that vocal differentiate her, along with (mostly ballads or not) top notch production and solid song writing.

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Tue Oct 10 2023
5

Fantastic. Adele's voice is so strong and robust. The album had a lot of diversity of sound. It was just beautiful.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Girl can sing! Feels for sure.

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Sat Oct 14 2023
5

For sure a great album. Listened to the full album hundreds of times. 5/5

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