25 - Overrated

All that money poured in touring, high production, branding and royalties for a generic, modern soul-pop album. Seriously?

25 - Overrated

You cannot deny booming emotional contralto vocal prowess of Adele, reminding us of our failed romances and what could've been, even if you've never had the chance of a relationship. She's had a supreme rise to fame, being a confident and strong woman from South London (innit) and still retains that aesthetic by avoiding the spotlight and being a genuine person to her fans and the people she works with.

Of course, it's not her personality that achieved success, it was the music; 19, Adele's debut, was her foot in the doorway into mainstream success, with the then fresh-faced singer being a part of the post-Winehouse movement of musicians who re-popularized soul music across the world. Her second, 21, is without a doubt Adele's magnum opus. It earned the singer several Grammys and two BRIT Awards, certifying her as one of the defining artists of the current decade. Its maturity and heartbroken lyrics from a perspective of a young woman reached out to the lonely romantics of the world

That being said, Adele's third album, 25, in retrospect, is a major disappointment. After hearing it for the first time about a month after the Grammys, my first reaction was "meh". The vocals are a tad obnoxious, the lyrics are repetitive, and the production is bland and failed to impress me at all. How can you go from a vintage quality masterpiece like 21, to this?

Don't get me wrong - it isn't a terrible album, just rather measly compared to her previous work. I'm simply stating that if I had a pound for every time I heard the song "Hello" on the radio/MTV and bit my lip in pure frustration, I'd join the Kardashians in a greed-induced protest. Regardless of my angst, it's arguably the album's best single.

But how this ended up winning four Grammys is a bizarre factor (even though the album was released back in 2015, because that makes complete sense). My point is that it seemed like she was being rewarded for just being "Adele", a musical brand, and one that has made the most money for the music industry throughout 2016 through streaming, album sales and the constant exposure of "Hello".

By giving her a few bits of shiny metal gold, along with even more media exposure - all of which provided by the music industry - it will produce more profit from a mediocre album. The album exists as evidence of a cynical music industry, that rewards low effort and high profit over a focus on quality.

Before you accuse me of being a miserable hipster, Adele winning Album of the Year over Beyoncé is something I can't comprehend - Lemonade is far more complex and conceptual than anything Beyoncé has ever produced before, choosing to express music as an art, rather than another collection of songs about being a sassy lady from New York. 25 is the complete opposite - instead of choosing to be more adventurous or exploring her sound further, she gives us a pop record that does nothing but boost her brand, and rewards the business rather than the artist.

25 is overrated; I know she can do better.

Author

Luke Taylor

Luke Taylor Contributor

I work as the Network Administrator for Voice. Having completed my apprenticeship at Unit Twenty Three, I continue my work supporting Voice and the Youth Network in whatever way possible. Music is my passion, and I will happily talk about all the bands you've probably never heard of!

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