Jukebox Friday · Nerdy Basement

25 – Adele – Album review

I’m well aware the latest Adele dropped in last November, over five months ago. I purchased my copy in December but didn’t get a chance to actually listen to the whole thing until recently when I finally got around to get an external optical drive for my laptop. I’ve been listening to this album a lot these past few weeks. See, I’m an album person. I’m one of those crazies who still buy CDs, like the real things, at the age of Spotify or other online music service. There is just something about owning your own physical copy of something you love. And I like to listen to whole albums at a time anyways, not just the hits. Cos artists who I like still put a lot of effort to put together an album, and the way the songs were arranged on the album matters. To me at least. So here, combining the Nerdy Thursday post with the Jukebox Friday, my first ever album review, and who is better to kick this series off than the amazing Adele with her mesmerizing album, 25.
My rating for the album: 9/10

1. Hello

The first single, the first big hit. A song story-wise reminds strongly of the ‘Someone Like You’, maybe with a wee bit less bitterness. So it’s another song about contacting the ex-lover. The melody is quite simple, with a stunning piano intro for the first part of the song. It’s a great song for the first single, because the simple melody brings out Adele’s mad vocal skills and reminds her fans why Adele’s music is worth waiting for.

Favorite part of the song: Well arranged hit song material but nothing in it really stood out for me.
Favorite part of the lyrics: 
“They say that time’s supposed to heal ya, but I ain’t done much healing.”
My rating of the song: 7/10

2. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

After the melancholia of ‘Hello’, we move right on to something downright snappy. ‘Send My Love’ is basically the middle finger to your ex, with a clear acoustic guitar and a strong beat. This song is almost playful, the harmony in the end combining the chorus and the bridge strengthen the playfulness of the song, it sounds almost like a children’s song. This one always make me want to dance, and do the brushing shoulder move. 😀

Favorite part of the song: The chorus.
Favorite part of the lyrics: 
“I’m giving you up. I’ve forgiven it all. You set me free.” & “We gotta let go of all of our ghosts. We both know we ain’t kids no more.”
My rating of the song: 8/10

3. I Miss You

This is Dramatic, with a capital D. From the beginning, the magnificent bass line at the intro, to the dramatic lyrics, to the high as hell chorus where Adele’s voice almost crack on the highest note. It’s a song to listen to in the thunderstorm, when an ordinary love song just won’t cut it to express the obsession you are feeling, then this is the tune to scream out along to. It does have some great lyrics.

Favorite part of the song: The intro, the strong bass, and the first two verse of the chorus.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“I want every single piece of you. I want your heaven and your ocean’s too! Treat me soft but touch me cruel. I want to teach you things you never knew.”
“Bring the floor up to my knees. Let me fall into your gravity. And kiss me back to life to see your body standing over me.”
“I love the way your body moves towards me from across the room. Brushing past my every groove. No one has me like you do. In your heart I bring my soul. But be delicate with my ego. I wanna step into your great unknown. With you and me setting the tone.”
My rating of the song: 9/10

4. When We Were Young

Oh this will be my jam at the karaoke. It’s definitely my second favorite song of the album. I love Adele’s voice when it gets really low. This song is all about reminiscing a love gone by, but still you want something, a memory to hold on to, when everything was still so simple. I’m envious of people who have such a beautiful memory of their past love, but I’m the kind that would let the ending taints the story, so I kind of forget the fond memories if things end badly. I do have an obsession of photographing people the way I see them, and in that way let them witness the way I look at them too. In my mind it’s endlessly romantic. And the lyrics of the song reminds me of my silly obsession.

Favorite part of the song: The chorus!
Favorite part of the lyrics: 
“You look like a movie. You sound like a song.”
“Let me photograph you in this light. In case it is the last time that we might be exactly like we were before we realized. We were sad of getting old. It made us restless.”
My rating of the song: 9/10

5. Remedy

Sorry couldn’t find anything else but a very nice cover of the song. I don’t actually like the verses, but the lyrics are still strong. It feels a little bit like a filler song, but it’s Adele after all, so even the fillers sound better than most hits. I personally think this is a little bit boring but there is still a hook that I like a lot.

Favorite part of the song: The first two verse of the chorus.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“So desperate to find a way out of my world and finally breath. Right before my eyes I saw my heart it came to life. This ain’t easy, it’s not meant to be. Every story has its scars.”
“But when the pain cuts you deep. When the night keeps you from sleeping…”
“When the world seems so cruel. And your heart makes you feel like a fool…”
My rating of the song: 7/10

6. Water Under The Bridge

This is song that sounds like a prayer. It would sound great with a choir. It would sound like it belongs in a church if not for the quite modern and light production in the background that sounds like a different song when played separately than the song but it’s almost magical when the two comes together.

Favorite part of the song: The chorus.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“If you’re gonna let me down, let me down gently. Don’t pretend that you don’t want me.”
My rating of the song: 7/10

7. River Lea

Sorry, could only find the instrumental version. If ‘Water Under The Bridge’ sounded like it belongs in a church, ‘River Lea’, at least its verses are. They even have an organ playing in the background. But then the style and feel change suddenly in the bridge part and it becomes contemporary again. River Lea is definitely the odd ball of the album.

Favorite part of the song: The bridge
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“But it’s in my roots, it’s in my veins. It’s in my blood and I stain every heart that I use to heal the pain.”
My rating of the song: 7/10

8. Love in The Dark

Could only find a cover. But the original have a really beautiful orchestra intro, then when the song starts, it becomes only Adele and the piano. Which is truly a match made in heaven. But when the orchestra joins in on the second verse in earnest, it’s so heart-breakingly beautiful. This song will be a spectacle to listen live.

Favorite part of the song: The orchestra beginning from the second verse, the musical solo before the final chorus and the music during the final chorus.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“You have given me something I can’t live without. You mustn’t underestimate that when you are in doubt.”
“It is the world to me that you are in my life. But I want to live and not just survive.”
My rating of the song: 8/10

9. Million Years Ago

Couple of weeks ago on Jukebox Friday, I had this one up because it is my favorite song of Adele’s new album. Like ‘When We Were Young’, Adele’s voice gets really really low, and I adore it. And as much as I love Adele, sometimes her lyrics do get a little too emo for me, all that talk about exes and lost love. But ‘Million Years Ago’ is different, it’s about the lost youth, the things Adele missed when she became a superstar. She sounds genuine and it touches me with its simple lyrics and an absolutely beautiful jazzy melody. A definitely plus is the melancholy humming before the chorus, for a second I was in Spain, watching a live singing in a small tavern, a song that would bring tears to your eyes even if you don’t understand a word, or there is no words, only humming.

Favorite part of the song: The acoustic guitar. The low verses.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“I know I’m not the only one. Who regrets the things they’ve done.”
“I feel like my life is flashing by. And all I can do is watch and cry. I miss the air, I miss my friends. I miss my mother; I miss it when. Life was a party to be thrown. But that was a million years ago.”
My rating of the song: 10/10

10. All I Ask

Aaaand here we have the tear-jerker of the album. The grand love ballad. A piano as the only instrument, it reminds me of Yiruma (my favorite pianist from Japan). There are songs that I cannot simply sing out loud without crying. And ‘All I Ask’ is definitely one of them. It’s melancholy, it’s larger than life. Not all relationships end with a clean cut, not all end with an ugly scar. The worst kind of ending is that you both know it’s not meant to be, that there won’t be a future, but the love is still there, you just know you have to let go. ‘All I Ask’ is about that kind of ending. The hopeless kind with a tinge of bittersweetness.

Favorite part of the song: The piano and the chorus.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“All I ask is… If this is my last night with you. Hold me like I’m more than just a friend. Give me a memory I can use. Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do. It matters how this ends. ‘Cause what if I never love again?”
“Let this be our lesson in love. Let this be the way we remember us.”
My rating of the song: 9/10

11. Sweetest Devotion

After a whole album full of sad and emo songs, I think ‘Sweetest Devotion’ is a great choice to end the song. It’s not a strong one, but it’s a positive one. It leaves me excited for the next stage in Adele’s music career.

Favorite part of the song: The lyrics. The bridge.
Favorite part of the lyrics:
“There is something in your loving. That tears down my walls.”
“I’ve been looking for you, baby. In every face that I’ve ever known. And there is something about the way you love me that finally feels like home.”
“You’re my life, you’re my darkness. You’re the right kind of madness.”
My rating of the song: 7/10

 

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