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The palatial piano ballads “Love in the Dark” and “All I Ask” feel much more expected: classic vehicles soaked in stately production and minor-key melancholy. But this isn’t the wronged woman of 21, pouring out the pain of her pulverized heart; it’s Adele at 27, a happily partnered young mom who can still access the most tender emotions—and knows too how much that catharsis means to her listeners—but is coming now from a calmer, more peaceful place. Her toddler son’s happy gurgles usher in the intro to “Sweetest Devotion,” and the voluptuous, slow-rolling “I Miss You” is as explicitly seductive as anything she’s ever done. (“Bring the floor up to my knees/Let me fall into your gravity/And kiss me back to life to see/Your body standing over me.”)
If anything, her sadness has transferred from lost love to lost time: “When We Were Young,” penned with Canadian indie-rock wunderkind Tobias Jesso Jr., the flamenco-guitar-kissed “Million Years Ago,” and the Danger Mouse-helmed holy roller “River Lea” are all heavily steeped in nostalgia for the past. It’s easy to give her a hard time for that; is she even old enough to pine for anything further back than the hazy days of the early ‘00s? But she clearly means it sincerely, and the songs also happen to be three of the album’s best.
The hundreds of words already written here not withstanding, there’s something about 25 that resists analyzing. Its lyrics and stylistic flourishes strive much more for simplicity than singularity, so in some ways it can be strange to watch such frenzied energy surround an artist who offers herself so transparently. Adele has always been a little bit of an anomaly, though: She’s an analog girl in a digital world, a pop colossus whose songs don’t conform to anything else on pop radio, an instantly recognizable star who prefers, most of the time, not to be seen. When she does appear in public, she’s a pro—funny and charming and toweringly glamorous. But unlike her peers (if you can call them that) she rejects almost all the perks and trappings of fame; her music is, for the most part, the only part of her for sale, and even the songs themselves feel secondary to how she sings them. Her voice is a national monument, a ninth wonder; whatever she chooses to wrap it around is transformed and taken over. If that’s not the definition of a once-in-a-generation talent, what is?
A2 Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
A3 I Miss You
A4 When We Were Young
B1 Water Under The Bridge
B2 River Lea
B3 Love In The Dark
B4 Million Years Ago
B5 All I Ask
B6 Sweetest Devotion
Shipping & Returns
You may return most new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. We'll also pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.).
You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).
If you need to return an item, simply login to your account, view the order using the "Complete Orders" link under the My Account menu and click the Return Item(s) button. We'll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we've received and processed the returned item.
We can ship to virtually any address in the world. Note that there are restrictions on some products, and some products cannot be shipped to international destinations.
When you place an order, we will estimate shipping and delivery dates for you based on the availability of your items and the shipping options you choose. Depending on the shipping provider you choose, shipping date estimates may appear on the shipping quotes page.
Please also note that the shipping rates for many items we sell are weight-based. The weight of any such item can be found on its detail page. To reflect the policies of the shipping companies we use, all weights will be rounded up to the next full pound.