November 16, 2015


The Complete Guide to Adele's '25' Album

XL/Columbia Records
XL/Columbia Records

Release Date: Friday, November 20

The Buildup: 

It feels like its taken forever to get to this point, huh? The world has been waiting for Adele's follow up to the diamond-certified 21. On May 5, 2014, the day before the British singer's 25th birthday, she posted a selfie with the caption "Bye bye 25... See you again later in the year x," leading many to believe the sought-after release would drop by the end of last year. That obviously wasn't the case...perhaps she was just letting us all know she was headed back in the studio?

The reason for her absence might've just been, you know, life. She told Rolling Stone the real reason she returned to music was for her son:

"I think actually the pregnancy was perfect timing in the end. It might've seemed like the most ridiculous time to have a baby, but I was starting to get a bit afraid of everything...When I had him, it made everything all right, and I trusted everything because the world had given me this miracle...I don't know if I would've come back had I not had my kid."

For now, we just know that this is her last album named after a certain age. And that she's super sorry for the delay between records. On Oct. 21 of this year, she wrote on Twitter:

"My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I'm making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. But I haven't got time to hold on to the crumbs of my past like I used to. What's done is done."

The Music:

"Hello" is our first taste of 25, and its story is a wild one. The song was originally teased in a 30-second commercial in the U.K. The black and white clip aired during the X Factor, and in it, some lyrics were revealed: "Hello, it's me / I was wondering if after all this 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."

The official song was released a few days later on Oct. 23, with a video that would go on to break records.

In her cover story with Rolling Stone, we learned "Hello" was no easy task. It actually took 6 months to make happen. The song's producer and co-writer, Greg Kurstin, thought it might never happen, telling the pub, "We had half a song written," adding "I just had to be very patient."

On November 16, just four days before the release of the 25, Adele shared a preview of her collabo with indie darling Tobias Jesso Jr., "When We Were Young." Listen to it here.


Ryan Tedder - The OneRepublic frontman let it be known that he was working with Adele on 25 way back in May of 2014! Feels like forever ago. The news broke via Billboard, when he told the publication, "I know I'm going back in with her and so, if there's any kind of time crunch, I'll definitely have to bring my A game. I know that much." Let us not forget that he worked on her last album, 21, and is responsible for co-writing and producing her hit song "Rumour Has It." Adele's reaction? "Because 'Remedy' is so great, and I loved singing it so much I got excited like 'I'm on a roll!'"

Ariel Rechtshaid - The man made famous for his work with Lana Del Rey was in the studio with Adele. He produced "When We Were Young," on the record, the song co-written by indie darling Tobias Jesso Jr. 

Tobias Jesso Jr. - See above!

Bruno Mars - The voice behind "Uptown Funk" is also responsible for a song on 25. He co-wrote "All I Ask." In her i-D cover story, Adele explains, "I've never sung so hard in me whole life. Can you imagine the fun me and Bruno had making that?"

Max Martin - The man behind all of Katy Perry's biggest hits and Taylor Swift's 1989 got in the studio with Adele, too. In the same cover story we learn of a few lyrics: "This was all you / None of it me" and that Adele loves that song, describing it as "a bit of fun, innit? You ain't got to be dark all the time...I love it, it's fucking sick. Straight away, a million people in my life will be like, 'Oh shit, what have I done...'"


1.) "Hello"
2.) "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)"
3.) "I Miss You"
4.) "When We Were Young"
5.) "Remedy"
6.) "Water Under the Bridge"
7.) "River Lea"
8.) "Love in the Dark"
9.) "Million Years Ago"
10.) "All I Ask"
11.) "Sweetest Devotion"