Originally posted 3/1/2019.
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Released: November 20, 2015
Charted: November 27, 2015
Peak: #110 US, #113 UK, #18 AU, #112 CN
Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 3.5.0 UK, 22.0 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: pop/British blue-eyed soul
After the monstrous success of her 2011 sophomore album 21, Adele considered quitting music. After her first child was born in October 2012, she was inspired to work again, because she said she wanted her son to “know what I do.” WK She made a conscious attempt to move away from the break-up themes which dominated 21 and also added added synths and drum pads to give the album a modern sound. WK She initially wrote an entire album about motherhood which she scrapped because it was “too boring,” WK although she did keep Sweetest Devotion, an uplifting track written as a tribute to her son. WK
She suffered from writer’s block until meeting with producer Greg Kurstin, after which she said “it all poured right out of me.” WK She told Rolling Stone the final product was about “yearning for her old self” and “melancholia about the passage of time.” WK To that end, she crafted songs such as When We Were Young, which explored Adele’s “uneasy acceptable of adulthood,” the album’s key theme. WK
Her collaboration with Kurstin produced Hello, a soul-driven piano ballad which Telegraph described as having “a very luscious wall of sound.” WK It was the first single and a monstrous #1. It went on to win Grammys for Record and Song of the Year and racked up more than 2 billion views on YouTube. The song took six months to finish. WK
In addition to working with Tedder and Paul Epworth again, Adele also collaborated with Max Martin and Shellback, Danger Mouse, and the Smeezingtons (which includes Bruno Mars). WK
The track Send My Love Your New Lover was a reworking of a song Adele wrote when she was thirteen and inspired by Amy Winehouse’s Frank album. She and Ryan Tedder, who worked with her on 21 and 25, went to lunch after unfruitful sessions and Adele heard Taylor Swift’s single “I Knew Your Were Trouble.” When Tedder told Adele it was produced by Max Martin, she reached out to him and they reworked “Lover.” WK
On February 12, 2017, Adele made Grammy history as only the second woman (after Taylor Swift) to win the Album of the Year twice for a solo effort. GR Adele first pulled off the feat with 21. In fact, Adele won all five Grammys for which she was nominated.
Adele’s third album also did blockbuster sales business, “becoming the the fastest-selling album of the 21st century” GR with a whopping 3.38 million copies sold in its first week. WK It went on to easily be the best-selling album of 2015, GR moving more than 17 million by year’s end. WK With sales continuing into 2016, it became the biggest selling album of that year as well. WK