Adele: 25

(XL Recordings/Columbia)

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It seems as if the world decided quickly that Adele’s new album, 25, her third studio album, was a success almost instantaneously. After listening to just the first three tracks, it’s easy to see why. The album follows up the extraordinarily successful 21, released in 2011, which was praised by critics and listeners alike and ended up being one of the best selling albums of all time. The pressure to follow it up was enormous, but Adele persevered through a difficult process and managed to create not only a financially successful album, but one that pushed her own boundaries artistically as well.

The first track and lead single, “Hello,” is as hooky as it is soulful, proving to be an ear-worm that stays with you. This is followed by “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and “I Miss You,” both great tracks that hold the essence of that soulful voice and melody that makes Adele great, but also adds a poppy, electronic edge that really works. The album also includes some songs hardcore Adele fans will eat up, such as “Water Under the Bridge” and “Love in the Dark,” which have a touch of that scorned, passionate intensity to them. The album closes with another memorable track, “Sweetest Devotion,” an ode to her son and likely a song that will find it’s way onto many a future parent’s playlist. It’s rare to hear such a strong follow-up album to a massive success because the pressure and the demand is so intense, but even after a serious bout of writer’s block Adele found a way to do it. It’s sure to be a crazy, best-selling album that will appeal to the populous, but there’s no question that the woman has talent and she proves it on 25.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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