UNIVERSAL MUSIC, Rs 395
Adele returns after almost five years with the mushy hit single Hello that has sky-rocketed up the charts all over the world. Everyone who has heard it has fallen in love with the ballad, the lyrics, the soft tones of the melody and the strikingly beautiful video. Cured of a life-threatening ailment of her vocal chords that could have ended her career, Adele has made a fab comeback with an album that has five stars written all over it. Her first album 19, was in her teens, then came adulthood with 21 and now with motherhood it’s 25.
Packed with an 11 track playlist, all the songs are penned by the Adkins girl who just turned 27. Almost every song addresses heartache in one form or another, besides a love affair gone sour, love and its various shades, and unwittingly forgiveness when it comes to a relationship.
Her balladic twist moves over to co-writing with Swedish pop mixer Max Martin on the up-tempo and forgiving ballad Send My Love (To Your New Lover), to a soft drum setting with a tight rhythm section on the slow jam I Miss You that speaks about her loneliness. “I miss you when the lights go out / It illuminates all of my doubts…We place all love into the dark / ‘Cause we are living worlds apart / It only makes it harder baby…” which gently meanders to the beautiful piano ballad When We Were Young, co-written by indie-rocker singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. that speaks about her past days… “You look like a movie / You sound like a song / My God this reminds me / Of when we were young.” The beat takes off a bit on the swelling ballad Water Under The Bridge, a song that deals with an ex-lover.
The piano ballads Love In The Dark and All I Ask are classic Adele with good production values and lyrically satisfying hooks. Remedy, River Lea, Million Years Ago are more gems from the multiple Grammy-winning artiste.
If you want some mushy ballads for a good hour or so, Adele gives you many to choose from. She is, undoubtedly, the greatest vocalist of her generation, an artist who instinctively understands timbre and pitch, when to soar and when to whisper.
The CD inlay gives you a peek into the recording of this album through some memorable photos.
Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in.