By Kristi Alexandra
It’s hard to believe that Taylor Swift and Adele are born just a year apart. Though there’s no denying they both write a killer break-up song, there’s something innately more adult about Adele’s music and lyricism.
Perhaps it’s that the increasingly beautiful singer (seriously, is it just me or did Adele somehow become more beautiful overnight?) has enough maturity to say “Sorry/ For Breaking Your Heart” while Swift is likely about to tape a picture of Calvin Harris into her Burn Book.
But whoops—this isn’t a sleight towards T. Swift.
It’s just that Adele, with the release of her third album, comes off as quite a bit older than, well, 25. Following the success of her albums 19 and 21, she’s back again to regale us with the growing pains of another stage of her life.
Teasing audiences with her power ballad “Hello,” a heart-rending rendition of a fictional — at least we think — voicemail left for an ex-lover, Adele set the bar high for the rest of her record. The song’s sentiment is made all the more powerful by her mighty vocals. So much so, in fact, that the music seems to be secondary.
The thing is, the rest of the album could be “Hello” reworked into 11 songs under a different name—almost all of them being love letters to a former significant other.
The dark “River Lea” is an innocuous collaboration with Danger Mouse, as the hard-to-please, melancholic Adele comes forward about her neediness. All-too-relatable.
“Sometimes I feel so lonely in the arms of your touch/But I know that’s just me because nothing ever is enough,” she croons.
Titles such as “Water Under the Bridge” don’t need much explanation, as the chanteuse ruminates over cutting ties with this mystery ex. And “Love In The Dark” comes back to the ballad we’ve all come to expect from Adele — beautiful arpeggios backed by orchestral support.
Not every tune on this album appears to be about her ex-man (or woman, who knows), as “Sweetest Devotion” comes as a tribute to her three-year-old son, Angelo.
That aside, all we really want to know is who this mystery ex-lover is, as she’s happily still in a relationship with her son’s father. At least Miss Swift would have the decency to out the subject of her ire. Too bad for us that Adele is just too damn mature for that.
Kristi Alexandra is an unabashed wino and wannabe musician. Her talents include drinking an entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon, singing in the bathtub, and falling asleep.