Adele recently confirmed what fans have long been hoping and expecting: that her new album is coming soon. Now, whether you love the massive-selling singer’s music or hate it because your dad loves it, there’s no denying that her return is a hugely important cultural moment. ’21’ was so massive – the kind of massive albums don’t tend to be in the 21st century – that it made the Londoner an almost unparalleled global megastar.
But what do we know about the album and, more importantly, what will it sound like? Will there be a Lady Gaga collaboration? An Instagram photo of the pair has led fans to think so. And could Adele possibly be going country too? That might not be as far-fetched as it sounds, actually. Here’s everything we know about what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest albums of the year.
No points for guessing the title
“Bye bye 25… See you again later in the year,” Adele tweeted back in May 2014, the night before the singer turned 26. She’s now 27 years of age and the album’s still not dropped, but it has been all but confirmed that the record – which follows 2008’s ‘19’ and 2011’s ‘21’ – will reflect the age Adele was when she wrote the majority of the record: 25. An age, as the singer herself put it, which was a “turning point, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult”. Unlike other 25 year olds however, Adele’s album probably won’t be about getting a leg-up onto the property ladder or the subsiding embarrassment of doing the food shop on a Friday night.
It’s going to sell loads and boost the UK economy
’21’ has sold – that’s sold, not streamed – a whopping 30 million copies since its release. To put that into perspective: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ has so far sold around eight million copies worldwide. It has put Adele on a par with The Beatles and Nirvana (‘Abbey Road’ and ‘Nevermind’ also reached the 30 million mark). In a musical climate where record sales are not what they used to be, Adele not only continues to sell records, but at a rate that no other modern artist can match.
With fellow pop cash cows One Direction about to take a break, it’s perfect timing for Adele to return and bolster the economy. The album will be a much welcomed end of year boost to the UK and global music economies. The music industry contributed nearly £4 billion to the British coffers last year, according to government figures, just imagine the uplift if Adele announces a stadium tour alongside her album. Never mind Corbyn, Adele could really be the best anti-austerity policy we have.
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It’ll get you through the winter months
With ‘19’ and ‘21’ both released in January, it appears that ‘25’ will follow suit with a similarly wintry affair. With a reported release date of November 20, it looks like fans will be able to take comfort in her new album for a bit longer this time round. Perfect for the early morning commutes in the deepest, darkest months.
Put the Kleenex away though, this could be a happier one…
“My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record,” Adele has written of ‘25’, hinting that her lyrics may not be as heartbroken and weepy on this LP. The singer’s coming of age has brought a newfound clarity and matured perspective, it seems.
Or maybe a little bit more of the same?
Don’t expect any happy-clappy numbers, however, this is still Adele we’re talking about. Instead, the singer has said that the album is “about getting to know who I’ve become without realising” and “making up for everything I ever did and never did”, the ethos that “what’s done is done”. In other words, it’s less about wallowing in your troubles and more about necking them back whole and moving the hell on.
Literally every hitmaker could be on it
The roll call for Adele’s new album is even longer than the waiting time for the record. She’s been linked with some of the best producers and songwriters in a game past and present, from Mark Ronson and Pharrell Williams, whose respective singles ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Happy’ have dominated the singles charts for the past two years, to Swedish hit machine Max Martin (responsible for everyone from Britney and Katy Perry to The Backstreet Boys and N Sync), and Phil Collins, the latter of whom recently labelled her a “slippery little fish”.
But there’ll still be that true hallmark of Adele, with the singer also likely to team up once again with longterm producer Paul Epworth and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (responsible for ‘Rumour Has It’).
And the biggest pop stars too
As well as the best producers and songwriters label executives have to offer, Adele could also lend a helping hand from some famous names on this record, with the singer rumoured to be working with the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Katy Perry despite being weary of collaborations in the past.
Motherhood must have influenced it
What else has changed in Adele’s life since the last record? The biggest change has to be the arrival of her first child. Adele’s son Angelo was born in 2012 when the singer was aged 24, a year before the album was written and recorded.
Pharrell recently said of collaborating with new mother Adele: “You have 20 minutes then she’s off with her beautiful baby”. So can we expect a more worldly take on womanhood from Adele? Almost certainly. If it’s anything like Beyoncé’s mature last album then we really hope so.
Could Adele be going country?
Mind the pun but rumour has it that Adele could be making a country turn on her album – well, according to Kelly Clarkson at least. The American Idol winner and all round gossip lover recently said that she’s “heard Adele is doing something more country influenced with this next record”.
It’s not as unlikely a thought as you might initially imagine: Adele’s music took the US by storm, loved by indie music critics, played on mainstream radio and even bought by country music fans. Could the singer be jumping on the Nashville bandwagon and do a reverse Taylor Swift? Stranger things have happened.
You’ll soon find out…
We could continue ponder what Adele’s new album will sound like but the best indicator will be her lead single. The song was previewed between the ad break of X Factor last weekend and features the lyrics: “Hello, it’s me, I was wondering if after all these years, you’d like to meet to go over everything/They say that time’s supposed to heal ya but I ain’t done much healing.” Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the full thing.