Adele’s ’25’ – The Reviews Are In, And Here’s What The Critics Are Saying

Tomorrow, Adele releases the follow-up to 2011’s mega-selling ’21’. Titled ’25’, it’s expected to sell between 1.3 and 1.8 million copies in its first week and is already a huge commercial success on preorders alone. But what do the critics make of it? The reviews have been pouring in. Here’s what they’re saying…

RAVE REVIEWS

The Daily Telegraph – 5/5
“Musically, she stands squarely in the middle of the road, and it is only her earthy personality and soulful honesty that lends her any kind of cutting edge. For a contemporary pop star, she never ventures much further forward in musical eras than the Eighties.”

Digital Spy – 5/5
“It seems obvious to give such a highly anticipated record – and one that has basically already gone to number one all over the world – a five-star review. But for its simplicity, sincereity and striking soulfulness, it truly does deserve it.”

The Times – 4/5
“With Streisand-like professionalism, Adele has released an album that offers few surprises – she was never going to take a detour into heavy metal – but plenty of big, emotional ballads. Here, ’25’ speaks to the heart in a universal fashion and puts British pop back at the heart of modern life where it belongs.”

MIDDLING REVIEWS

The Independent – 3/5
“As ’25’ continues, it’s gradually swamped by the kind of dreary piano ballads that are Adele’s fall-back position, produced by the likes of Ryan Tedder and Bruno Mars’ Smeezingtons operation. It leaves things sounding a little too much like they had been designed by committee – which, on reflection, is probably exactly what those industry types were so eagerly awaiting.”

The New York Times – 7/10
“Pop moves and mutates, but Adele more or less does not. Naming her albums for different ages in her life doesn’t indicate radical changes from era to era, but rather reinforces the reassuringly slow march of time. Her music is like time-lapse photography of a busy street: small parts move, but the structure of the whole picture remains essentially intact.”

The Sun – 6/10
“With the exception of a couple of real duds… ’25’ is a collection of beautiful tracks that moves the country’s most acclaimed singer in a surprising but welcome pop direction.”

The Guardian – 3/5
“’25’’s best moments come when someone pushes Adele – or Adele pushes herself – beyond just recreating former glories.”

NME – 3/5
“She impresses most when she brings thing down a couple of notches. Against gently plucked acoustic guitar on ‘Million Years Ago’ she channels the hushed sensuality of 1950s jazz pinup Julie London with gloriously intimate results. Yet you just can’t shake the feeling that the whole thing is just far too safe.”

THE CONSENSUS

3.5/5. Pretty good, but a bit safe.