Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
Buy On
  1. Nov 25, 2015
    100
    Whether she's holding notes with the strength of a suspension bridge or enjoying a rare lighthearted "whoo-hoo!" on "Sweetest Devotion," her incredible phrasing – the way she can infuse any line with nuance and power – is more proof that she's among the greatest interpreters of romantic lyrics.
  2. Nov 18, 2015
    100
    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.
  3. Nov 20, 2015
    91
    Her music feels authentic because, as a listener, you believe that these songs about love, pain, fear, and loss come from somewhere real and personal. On 25, she once again has something to say, with a voice that demands to be heard.
  4. 91
    A record that feels both new and familiar--a beautiful if safe collection of panoramic ballads and prettily executed detours.... Her voice is a national monument, a ninth wonder; whatever she chooses to wrap it around is transformed and taken over.
  5. Nov 19, 2015
    90
    Through 11 effortlessly sophisticated and deeply-layered torch songs, Adele's powerful vocals glide between thunderous roars and rib-cracking falsettos over large dramatic piano swells to fuzzy, warm lower-register rumblings. Ballads are bold and demanding.
  6. Nov 19, 2015
    90
    If there are no uptempo blazers on the order of "Rolling in the Deep" or "Rumor Has It," the album doesn’t suffer in quality for the lack.
  7. Nov 20, 2015
    82
    Closure in many ways is the ultimate desire, and 25 is rife with it.
  8. Dec 7, 2015
    80
    Throughout these towering production flourishes, Adele's vocals cast an even vaster shadow: swooping, swerving, blaring brassily and cooing tenderly, a full orchestra unto itself that's theatrical, unpredictable, and dynamic.
  9. Nov 20, 2015
    80
    Even as she's suffering the romantic disadvantage, Adele infuses the songs of 25 with a love-drunk cockiness, tossing wine by a loose wrist as she reconsiders these departed men.
  10. Nov 19, 2015
    80
    Adele’s fans have been waiting for years for new Adele songs to explain their experiences to them. And they get a worthy batch on 25, an album so full of heavy-duty drama that it makes a more lighthearted peer such as Katy Perry seem like a Pez dispenser.
  11. Nov 19, 2015
    80
    And yet: that voice. On 25, the material is occasionally inspired, sometimes dull, but always serviceable--and with Adele, that’s enough.
  12. 80
    The album’s OTT closer “Sweetest Devotion” doesn’t really provide the conclusion you want either. Despite that, there’s a very good record in here, propped up by a some incredible modern classics (“Hello”, “Remedy”, “When Were Young”, “Love in the Dark”).
  13. 75
    25 is not a bad album, nor is it an excellent one--it’s just good, that’s all.
  14. By broadening the themes, growing up a bit, and going deeper, 25 hits upon some truly transcendent moments—moments that deserve the millions of lives they'll soundtrack. It's just hard to fully praise an album that stops feeling like an album three-quarters of the way through.
  15. 75
    25 doesn’t necessarily meet the fire of its predecessor, but it meets its mark--a whole different undertaking when tasked from the top.
  16. Nov 23, 2015
    73
    It’s not so much that Adele’s lyrics are platitudinous (although they often are), it’s that the album’s prevailing sentiment eventually becomes wearying.... But 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.
  17. Nov 18, 2016
    70
    Singles "Hello" and "When We Were Young" remain highlights on the record, but aforementioned tracks like "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)," "I Miss You" and "Water Under the Bridge," not to mention "River Lea," hear Adele taking a welcome detour from the orchestral piano-pop formula and moving towards more interesting, groove-driven patterns.
  18. Dec 1, 2015
    70
    Make no mistake, all 11 songs are of a piece -- they're shaded by melancholy, gaining most of their power through performance -- but that cohesive sound only accentuates how Adele has definitively claimed this arena of dignified heartbreak as her own.
  19. 70
    25 can seem like 11 singles instead of an album at times; all the big-name producers and co-songwriters muscling their way in doesn’t allow for too much restraint.
  20. Nov 20, 2015
    70
    These are mostly decent songs but the lyrical landscape feels wearily well-trodden and it’s hard not to just want a bit more from an artist with the freedom to risk anything.
  21. Nov 20, 2015
    70
    Adele is a singular talent, and the moments of brilliance are well worth wading through the few flashes of average.
  22. Nov 18, 2015
    70
    25 manages to sound all of a piece, even as the songs veer from phenomenal to tepid. In places, everything comes together.
  23. Nov 19, 2015
    63
    She sprinkles just enough specifics amid the cliches to identify the songs as her story, rather than a cut-and-paste factory job assembled by a committee of songwriters. But the music itself sticks to a formula centered on piano ballads and churchy hymns.
  24. Nov 23, 2015
    60
    Even as she fulfils the brief here--not disappointing, revealing how fame heals some things, but not others--you want to wrench the woman away from the ivories and order her a jug of margarita.
  25. Nov 23, 2015
    60
    Despite coming from the same body that houses a personality so unbelievably erratic and off-the-wall in the best possible way, 25 is as straight-down-the-line ‘Adele album’ as it gets.
  26. Nov 23, 2015
    60
    25 is very much Adele playing safe.
  27. Nov 23, 2015
    60
    When it works best, as on the now globally ubiquitous “Hello” or the show-stopping “All I Ask” (featuring a rending, diva-appropriate performance for the ages), 25 delivers the kind of timeless vibes people have come to expect from Adele, even though the first-person narratives in her songs often still feel oddly generic.
  28. Nov 20, 2015
    60
    Never one for youthful giddiness, her third album is strikingly authoritative, tending towards the imperious even when expressing vulnerability yet rarely coming over as soullessly efficient.
  29. Nov 19, 2015
    60
    The songs are invariably beautifully delivered--in a world of singers who feel impelled to express emotion by vocally doing their nut, Adele understands that less is usually more--but something is missing from them.
  30. Nov 18, 2015
    60
    25 is, like its predecessor, weighed down by its soggy, vanilla ballads, few of which manage to escape their '70s- and '80s-indebted singer-songwriter schmaltz the way “Hello” (just barely) does.
  31. 60
    You just can’t shake the feeling that the whole thing is just far too safe. You can’t blame team Adele for following a formula that has so far resulted in 30 million album sales--but here’s to a little more innovation on ‘29’.
  32. 60
    There are isolated moments of musical intrigue scattered here and there through the album.... But as 25 continues, it’s gradually swamped by the kind of dreary piano ballads that are Adele’s fall-back position.
  33. Nov 20, 2015
    50
    You'd think that with the weight of success behind her, Adele could, and would want to, do anything. Instead, she largely retreads the same paths and explores the same tones.
  34. Dec 2, 2015
    40
    The songs are not so much about love as the memory of love and, accordingly, there's a chasm between her aggressive vocal runs and the cautiously generalist lyrics, especially on the maudlin latter half.
  35. Dec 1, 2015
    40
    Adele’s repetition is anchored further by some of the least dynamic work of her career. There’s nothing here to rival the playful malice of ‘Rumour Has It’ or the instant hit of ‘Rolling In The Deep’.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 940 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 20, 2015
    10
    Some reviewers say it sounds too much like her previous material, but it really doesn't. She's offered up quite of a bit of variation in termsSome reviewers say it sounds too much like her previous material, but it really doesn't. She's offered up quite of a bit of variation in terms of sound and subject material. But as usual, some reviewers are trying to tag it as another break up album with the same subject material, when it's not at all.

    In my opinion, you can't really compare this to 21, because it comes from a much different place and is the perfect ending to her age themed albums. Hello, When We Were Young, Million Years Ago, and All I Ask are future classic potential. And it's very rare to say there are future classics on a modern pop album these days.

    Vocally, she sounds better than ever and she continues to prove why she's in another lane from everyone else. Anyone can make this type of music, but only she can sell it to you this way with her voice.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 22, 2015
    5
    It's not bad and not good. "Hello" sounded pretty samesy in comparison to her earlier work, and so my expectations were set to meh. This albumIt's not bad and not good. "Hello" sounded pretty samesy in comparison to her earlier work, and so my expectations were set to meh. This album has it's moments for sure, and as a whole it's ultimately pretty but dull, with many songs staying past their welcome. Her voice is beautiful, but there are only so many pop ballads a human can take. Full Review »
  3. Nov 20, 2015
    8
    Finally we have a new work from Adele, after four years listening to its predecessor, "21". The creation’s process and development of theFinally we have a new work from Adele, after four years listening to its predecessor, "21". The creation’s process and development of the album was subtle and reading, but it was worth the wait. As Adele said in an interview with Rolling Stone, the album brings a bit of maternal essence - citing "Ray of Light" by Madonna as an inspiration.

    The album begins with the powerful ballad "Hello", which took more than six months to complete. It’s obviously a farewell to that Adele's "21", a farewell to her lover who broke her heart. This is complement on "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" in which Adele sings account that finally overcame and gave up, and it's even kind enough to say to your ex send reminders to your new love and advises him to treat it best.

    In previous album, Adele was unsure, but in "I Miss You" she is more confident and provocative, to metaphorically explain that your love is now true and lasting and that it makes her so well that she misses her man when he’s far away. And in "When We Were Young" she declares this intense love with memories, and admits that she may be able to be the "Remedy" for everything.

    It’s also worth noting wonderful and touching tracks like "Water Under the Bridge", "Love in the Dark," "Million Years Ago", it’s talk about so much things that she misses that was took of her when she did success worldwide and had to leave the old e calm life, and "All I Ask", which the latter had additional composition of Bruno Mars and was wonderful in Adele's voice.

    Motherhood influenced Adele to make its lighter composition and the most creative production, enjoy more music rather than maintaining the simplicity of a piano. "I Miss You" and "Sweet Devotion", produced by the incredible Paul Epworth, and "Water Under the Bridge", with touches by Greg Kurstin, are the main instrumental changes Adele, but "Send My Love" and “River Lea”, produced by Max Martin, Shellback and Danger Mouse, brings an environment which refers to the album "19" and songs like "Right As Rain", "My Same", “Cold Shoulder” and "Tired".

    Finally, as many musical critics say, an artist only truly finds its essence when it releases third album and here we have the "25" with 11 tracks bringing the most complete, real and emotional word by Adele Adkins, a woman who is in constant personal growth and professional. I’m not a fan, but this need to be admit, that’s all.
    Full Review »