Adele’s new album, 25, will be released in stores everywhere Friday, and it’s already projected to smash music industry records and breathe some life into the world of music.
As one of the top artists of her generation, Adele has smashed records that even Taylor Swift hasn’t touched, and fans are more than ready for another album from the 27-year-old U.K. singer. After taking a three-year break to spend some time with her son, Angelo, who just turned three in October, Adele is back in a big way.
Her new album, 25, has been reported as heavier and more mature than her previous records. Named, like all her other albums, for her age when she began working on it, 25, it speaks of time lost and hints at the reality we all face when we traverse the time in our early twenties to our more mature adult years.
Though it has an impressive record to beat, many critics are projecting that 25 could have a more impactful beginning than 21, which was released in 2011 and dominated the 2011 and 2012 charts for most downloads and sales. It sold 11.2 million copies in the United States alone. Adele even beat Taylor Swift’s best-selling album, Red, by more than a million downloads.
Adele was a fairly new singer at that point and had the novelty factor on her side. She doesn’t have that now, but she does have her return from a three-year hiatus. That’s a lot of built up anticipation from music lovers.
The most prominent indicator that 25 will be the best-selling album of the year is the overwhelming success her single, “Hello,” received upon its release in October. It immediately hit number one on the charts and beat out Taylor Swift’s record for most music video views for “Bad Blood.” This is a powerful indicator that the singer’s return will be far bigger than many critics thought.
What’s more, Columbia Records is set to ship 3.6 million physical copies of the new album upon its release tomorrow. This is fairly unique for this day and age since no one has shipped that many physical copies since NSYNC’s No Strings Attached album was released in 2000. The wildly popular boy band’s record label shipped 2.5 million copies of No Strings Attached during the first week of release, and 4.2 million copies during the first year.
If the predictions are correct, Adele will quickly surpass that record, not only with physical copies, but also downloads. Now that downloads are the popular method of choice for obtaining music, critics are expecting quadruple the amount of downloads as compared to the number of CDs sold, which will dwarf 21‘s record of 11.2 million copies sold by download.
Music fans and critics are also rooting for her newest album to save the music industry, which hasn’t been doing too well of late. To say that this album is eagerly awaited is an understatement, and the amount of downloads to come out of it will be incredible.
A major reason for the high volume of projected downloads is the fact that Adele will not be putting any of her songs on streaming stations like Spotify and Pandora. Services such as these are a major reason for the decline in the download business, and superstar artists like Taylor Swift have already taken a stand against these services and removed their music. Adele is going to follow suit in order to get more sales. It wouldn’t be surprising if other big name artists began to follow suit.
It’s too bad that 25 won’t be allowed on streaming services because it has some pretty exciting tracks. Aside from “Hello,” which music lovers already know well, there is “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” “I Miss You,” “When We Were Young,” and “Remedy;” just to name a few. Users will have to buy the record or wait for the songs to be played on the radio if they want to hear them.
The record was reportedly leaked online earlier this week, and several people had a sneak peak into the hit music. There have been mixed reviews about it. Some have called it her best record yet, while others have called it predictable, unremarkable, and ordinary. Because of the differing views, the validity of the leak has been called into question.
Still, it does bring up some concern that the album will be overhyped and underappreciated. This is probably one of the longest-awaited albums of this generation, and there’s a lot of responsibility to perform that comes with that level of hype.
Even if it doesn’t beat it’s predecessor 21, Adele’s new album, 25, is expected to slay records and act as a very profitable return for the British singer.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]