By Courtney E. Smith
First she was 19 and then she was 21. Hopefully by the time Adele’s next effort comes out she’ll be 25 and the year will be 2014. But with a life filled with domestic bliss, a new baby and apparently lots of excellent music (Twitter shout-outs from Adele in the last 12 months include Lily Allen, Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, Kanye West, the Civil Wars and Patti Smith), it’s easy to imagine her as a stay-at-home mom soaking up the best of new and old music while new ideas slowly roam around in her head.
There were some major personnel shifts between 19 and 21. While her debut album was principally written by herself with a few assists from British songwriters Eg White and Sacha Skarbek (with one track, “Right As Rain,” featured a spangled mess of songwriters resulting in kind of a Burt Bachrach-sounding thing), 21 was plotted as a monster from the start based on songwriting collaborations alone.
Massive hits came from her sessions with A-list songwriter names like Ryan Tedder, Dan Wilson, Greg Wells and producer Paul Epworth for the next album. Even the subject matter is vastly different — where 19 is a snapshot of a girl becoming a woman and the myriad of experiences that contains, 21 was the very autobiographical story of Adele’s arduous break-up. Her next album is sure to very gently upset the cart just as much as the choices she made on the first two did.
We’ve come up with some ideas on what we think, hope, and wish Adele might do now that she’s 25.
The Numbers Thing
As album titles go, this one is make or break. If she does the age thing yet again (she almost didn’t with 21) then she’s stuck on it forever. It will be hard to name the next album “25”, since she would have been writing the songs and having the life experiences that influenced the songs for multiple years. If she waits until well past 25, well…the numbers thing makes less sense with every year that passes. We predict she changes to a title track based system moving forward.