HELLO, IT’S ME
At 27 years old, Adele seems like a completely different person from when she launched her sophomore recording “21,” six years ago. “25” marks a completely new chapter for Adele, both in terms of her motherhood and also a change in the way she makes music. In fact, her comeback was quite unexpected, since she did intend to quit the scene after the success of her second album. The songwriting process for “25” took quite a while as she struggled with writer’s block, which led to meetings with the world’s most talented writers, including Ryan Tedder who collaborated on “Remedy.” More than anything, though, the opening track “Hello” feels like the right contrast to overly stylized pop songs sung by her contemporaries. All in all, “25” is the musthave album at the end of 2015.
Released a month after the launch of the Selena Gomez’ album, “Purpose” instantly became the talk of the music-head town. But rumors aside, Bieber’s fourth LP appropriately sets the tone for today’s pop tunes. With Skrillex on board as one of the producers and Ed Sheeran among the songwriters, “Purpose” is a definite people pleaser. But had Bieber put more work into his vocals, songs like “I’ll Show You” could actually possess more sonic oomph.
26-year-old Avicii had already worked on roughly 70 songs by July last year to prep for not one, but two albums. With “Equal” said to be ready for a 2016 launch, Avicii’s sophomore record “Stories” debuted in early October this year to rave reviews. Collaboration with big-name players like Wyclef Jean and Chris Martin resulted in a refreshing variety. Take, for instance, the reggae-infused “Can’t Catch Me” and gospelsounding “For a Better Day.” For those of you who ever felt that EDM is dead, Avicii is here to show you that the genre is revived.
I CRY WHEN I LAUGH
Jess Glynne’s meteoric rise, thanks to Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be,” was picked up just in time for the launch of her debut album “I Cry When I Laugh” featuring earworm material like “Don’t be So Hard on Yourself.” Alas, great singles don’t necessarily make for a good album. Despite her commercial success, Glynne sure needs some improvement.
“Revival” might sound a little unsettling as an album title from a singer who’s only 23 years old. But as Selena Gomez finally opened up about her personal battles, she has now indeed resurfaced with a new sound direction. “Revival” begins with a short monologue and the eponymous R&B-pop track. Then the genre switches to EDM-pop in “Kill Em with Kindness,” to slow hip-hop-pop with “Hands to Myself” as the variation evolves throughout the recording, leaving no boring moment between tracks.