Adele's 25 was released at midnight last night, and at 12:01am, a glass of Pinot Grigio grew out of my hand. Since then, I have lit all of the candles and felt all of the emotions. Also, I haven't slept. Nobody should be left alone with this album, is what I'm saying. Below, I will lead you through a track-by-track analysis of the album, along with warnings for the sorts of unseemly behaviors each song might inspire in you. We must enjoy Adele, but we must be ever vigilant to monitor the consequences.
The song: Adele phones an ex, says hello, bums us all out. You know this song by now. You have been afflicted with this song by now. If you've made it through these last three weeks without any humiliating phone calls or texts to the one who got away, you are a marvel of restraint and you should be studied by scientists.
Possible Side Effects: Humiliating phone calls or texts to the one who got away. Go to the post office, put your phone in an envelope, mail it to yourself so it arrives no earlier than Wednesday.
"SEND MY LOVE TO YOUR NEW LOVER"
The song: Adele works with producers Max Martin & Shellback, makes her own "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." It's sassy!
Possible Side Effects: Pursing your lips and wagging a finger in someone's face.
"I MISS YOU"
The song: Adele reunites with her co-writer and producer on "Rolling In The Deep," creates epic, sweeping song about feeling lonely even in a happy relationship. Melancholy will find you anywhere, if you are Adele.
Possible Side Effects: Standing atop a hill, facing a stiff wind, chin extended, scarf flapping.
"WHEN WE WERE YOUNG"
The song: Adele, whose age is two digits and begins with the number "2," feels old, seeks exhilaration of youth, finds it in face of beloved former flame.
Possible Side Effects: Do you have an ex about whom you have complicated emotions? Are you Facebook friends with that person? Deactivate your Facebook account. Close your laptop. Drive to the nearest river, throw your laptop into it, set your car on fire and walk away in slow motion.
"WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE"
The song: The closest thing to a traditional pop song we've gotten out of Adele since "Chasing Pavements." Massive, singable chorus, lyrics about that relationship you can't quite define but don't want to walk away from. This is the third single, guaranteed.
Possible Side Effects: Taking a Viking River Cruise.
"LOVE IN THE DARK"
The song: Adele has put it off long enough, and this relationship isn't going anywhere. It's time for her to end it, but just please don't look at her while she does; it's too painful.
Possible Side Effects: Straight-up torching your current, perfectly good relationship just so you can appreciate this song on a deeper level.
"MILLION YEARS AGO"
The song: Another one of these songs about how very old 27-year-old Adele has become. Could have been included on the album Frank Sinatra did with Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1967.
Possible Side Effects: Finding your high school yearbook in a box in the attic, blowing dust off the cover, slowly leafing through it, nodding grimly, staring off into the middle distance.
"ALL I ASK"
The song: Oh Jesus, here we go. One more song from the last moments of a frustrating relationship, with Adele wondering whether she'll ever love again if she walks away. Adele is 27 years old.
Possible Side Effects: Re-enrolling in college, becoming a musical theater major, graduating with honors, having a buzzy and illustrious Broadway career, winning a Tony, giving this acceptance speech.
The song: Adele finds a happy relationship, comes to terms with her advancing age, blends Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You" into three Cranberries album tracks, world rejoices. It's a fun track, though it's 25 in a nutshell: grand, rousing, emotional, but ultimately a little bit vague. She's tried so hard to make this album relatable for you, she often fails to make it personal and bring herself to the pity party. Adele is one of the more appealing and least media-coached personalities in the pop music world; I'd like one Adele song to be as sly, profane and engaging as every Adele interview. Maybe at 30? Still: you will sing along.
Possible Side Effects: Voice lessons.
Words: Dave Holmes
From: Esquire U.S.