Why Is Adele’s ’25’ Nominated for an Album Of The Year Grammy?
While she took an extended break after the critically acclaimed 21, Adele came back in full force with the release of 25 on November 20, 2015.
From her record-breaking single "Hello," to the sassy "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)," the British singer had another hit on her hands—and apparently it also got The Recording Academy's attention, who honored the superstar with five Grammy nominations at this year's ceremony, including Album of the Year.
But what made 25 a cut above the rest? We took a look at this and the other four nominees and break down all the reasons why they would have gotten the nod, starting with Adele.
ABOUT THE ALBUM: While Adele has been on hiatus since the release of 21, she told Billboard in 2013 that she was in the "early stages" of the third record. 25 welcomed back producers and songwriters Paul Epworth and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, who previously worked with Adele on 21. She also collaborated with Max Martin and Shellback, Greg Kurstin, Danger Mouse, the Smeezingtons, Samuel Dixon, Tobias Jesso Jr. and Bruno Mars. Aside from teasers here and there via social media and a quick commercial during The X Factor in the UK on October 2015. The album eventually released that November.
SINGLES: "Hello" didn't only become the lead single off 25, but it also broke numerous records. It quickly reached 100 million views on Vevo and knocked Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" from that pedestal. It reached a billion views on YouTube in 85 days opposed to Psy's "Gangnam Style," which took more than 158 days. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Adele's fourth chart-topping single, and became 2015's 7th best-selling single.
"When We Were Young" was the second single, but it was previously released, charted at 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 150,000 digital copies. Once it was officially released as a single in January 2016, the song peaked at the 14th spot.
The third single was "Send My Love (To Your New Lover) and peaked at number 8. And the fourth single was "Water Under the Bridge," which peaked at 44 on the Billboard Hot 100.
CRITICAL PRAISE: Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone said, "The nostalgic mood is the perfect fit for an artist who reaches back decades for her influences, even as her all-or-nothing urgency feels utterly modern." "...the new record’s mix of classic R&B, timelessly roof-rattling ballads, and contemporary pop is very much in keeping with its predecessor: familiar yet not too familiar, and instantly gripping because it’s all sung by that voice," Bruce Handy wrote for Vanity Fair. "...regardless of how one might feel about the spiritual utility of pop music, Adele’s instincts as a singer remain unmatched; she is, inarguably, the greatest vocalist of her generation, an artist who instinctively understands timbre and pitch, when to let some air in. It does not seem unfair to ask that dynamism of her songs, too," Amanda Petrusich penned for Pitchfork. "25 is certainly the equal of its predecessor. What it sacrifices in youthful rawness it makes up in maturity and sheer class. Adele Adkins has taken her time over her third album and it shows," Neil McCormick wrote for UK newspaper, The Telegraph.
CULTURAL IMPACT: Despite revealing that she didn't want to perform at a festival, she couldn't say know when the historically epic British fest, Glastonbury, asked her to headline in 2016. Although she did make headlines for swearing so much on live television, she also blew everyone away with a flawless performance of "Hello." She performed "Hello" and "When We Were Young" on Saturday Night Live on November 21. During that episode, she, along with the rest of those who tuned in, were treated to an emotional spoof of "Hello" during Thanksgiving dinner.
She also did concert specials with the BBC and NBC to introduce British and American audiences to 25. Adele performed at the 2016 Grammys and the 2016 BRIT Awards. She also joined James Corden for a ride around London for a special edition of "Carpool Karaoke." From February to November 2016, Adele went on her third headlining tour that took her throughout Europe and North America. She will bring the tour to Australia and New Zealand for the first time, starting on February 28, and Adele will close out her tour in London with four shows at Wembley Stadium.
THE ARTIST SAYS: She told Rolling Stone that her lead single wasn't really about a lost love that she's pining over."'Hello' is as much about regrouping with myself," she said, "reconnecting with myself." Adele also told the magazine that "Water Under the Bridge" is inspired by boyfriend and father of her son, Simon Konecki. It was sort of about a relationship suddenly getting really, really serious," she said, "and then getting a bit frightened by it, and then realizing that 'I think this must be right. This is the relationship that I want to be in for as long as I can possibly be in it.'"
While speaking to The Guardian, she explained that "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" was her "f--- you song."
She also added, "It sounds obvious, but I think you only learn to love again when you fall in love again. I’m in that place. My love is deep and true with my man, and that puts me in a position where I can finally reach out a hand to the ex. Let him know I’m over it.”
Adele: From The First Album to Now