Will this be the year that Adele releases her highly-anticipated follow-up to ‘25’? As fans wait for the ‘Hello’ singer to drop her new album, here’s what we know.
2020 was supposed to be the year for Adele fans. After waiting patiently (and in some cases, not-so-patiently), fans were finally going to get the long-awaited follow-up to her immensely successful third studio album, 25. Adele even said in February 2020 that they could “expect my album in September,” which led many to imagine that an international tour was sure to follow. Then, COVID-19 hit, and it all seemingly went to rubbish.
The year came and went without new music from Adele. No new album. No new single. Nothing. The closest fans got came when she hosted Saturday Night Live in October, and she performed “Rolling In The Deep” and “Hello” in a musical sketch. While sending love to SNL after her hosting gig, Adele seemingly hinted that she was holding off until 2021 to drop her next project (“Peace out till next year”). And so, fans have waited.
The hype got spiked after Adele made her first major public appearance in months. She was spotted at an Oscars afterparty, joining Drake to celebrate actor Daniel Kaluuya’s big win. The sight of Adele has rekindled fans’ desire for the new album, so here’s what we know.
When Will Adele New Album Be Released?
That is the multi-million-dollar question, isn’t it? As of April 2021, there is no release date for Adele’s new album.
In February 2020, Adele attended the wedding of her good friend, Laura Dockrill and Hugo White (members of the British indie band, The Maccabees, per Time.) At the wedding reception, Adele performed a few songs and, at the end of her impromptu set, said “expect my album in September.”
“It isn’t coming in September,” her manager, Jonathan Dickins, told Music Week in June 2020. Dickins also indicated that the album wasn’t finished. “It’ll be ready when it’s ready. We’re all in the same boat, you’re doing stuff, and then all of a sudden, the world stops. It’ll come when it’s ready. I can’t put a date on that yet. We have music, but we’re still working.”
Adele was apparently working on finishing the album by the end of 2020. Matt Chamberlain, the drummer for rock legends Pearl Jam, said he “got to work on some new music for Adele” while appearing on The Eddie Trunk Podcast. “She’s writing some new material with her songwriter Rick Nowels,” he said. “She wanted to do it with some drums, and so we just put our masks on, she was in the room — yeah, holy sh-t. You know her voice, but to be across the room from somebody doing that, it’s just insane,” he marveled.
It’s unclear when or where Matt worked with Adele, but it sounded like the album wasn’t completely ready for the September 2020 launch. One could chalk up the delay to COVID-19 shutting down the world, but it could also be due to Adele’s own success.
While Adele can’t be considered an overnight sensation – she was on the verge of flopping in America until she was booked on the 2008 episode of SNL that featured Sarah Palin, thus introducing Adele to 17 million U.S. fans – she is not synonymous with “success.” Her first album, 19 (released in Jan. 2008) has been certified Platinum (3x) by the RIAA. Her follow-up, 2011’s 21, is certified Diamond, having sold more than 22 million copies worldwide. . 2015’s 25, her third album, is also a Diamond-certified record. She has won countless awards – including two Album of the Year Grammys — to the point that drag queen, Ginger Minj made mocked her winning ways during an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Adele’s awards.’
— aimless creative (@EllisOseman) February 19, 2019
This is to say that Adele’s albums are not just albums – they’re events. And with six years since the last one, there may be a lot of pressure for Adele to live up to this standard that’s been set. If the new record is merely okay and not exceptional, that might be even worse than if it was bad.
What Is Adele’s New Album Called?
Adele’s first album is called 19 because she was 19 when she wrote it. She was 21 when she wrote 21 and 25 when she wrote 25. Adele will turn 33 on May 5, 2021, so will the album be called 32? Or 31?
Actually, Adele said in 2016 that she’s abandoning the numerical naming convention. “This is the last album after my age,” she said to James Corden in an installment of “Carpool Karaoke.” She added that she “believe(s) in trilogies” and suggested that “the next one is just going to be ‘Adele.’”
“I think this will be my last age one,” she told Zane Lowe in 2015, per Billboard. I’m sure I’m wrong with this, but I feel there’s been a massive change in me in the last couple of years. I feel like how I feel about myself is maybe how I’ll feel forever now…I changed my opinions on things, changed my feelings of myself and other people and stuff. But I feel like the idea of calling albums after my age is showing a photograph almost of what’s going on in my life then and there.
“I feel like not that much is going to change profoundly in me from now on in terms of how important eras of my life are to myself,” she added. “So I think the next one will probably be called Adele. It will be. I’m not joking.”
What’s Adele’s New Record Going To Sound Like?
It would be surprising if Adele was her grime album, which would likely revitalize those rumors that she was romantically entangled with UK rapper Skepta. However, from what Adele’s friend Alan Carr said, the music is going to be her familiar sound.
“I’ve heard some tracks on it,” he said in January 2021. “Oh my gosh. It’s so amazing. It’s so amazing. I said to her, I said, ‘That voice is like an old friend.’ It’s like an old friend. Because there are some people [on] the charts who sound a bit like Adele and you go, ‘Oh they sound [like] Adele,’ and then when you hear Adele’s voice again you go, ‘Oh no, there’s only one. There’s only one Adele.’”
Who Will Feature On Adele’s New Album?
If you look at Adele’s discography, something stands out: there are no “features” on her music. There are no competing vocals, no rappers jumping on the remix, no collaborations. Adele’s music is 100% her, which has only amplified her Adele-ness.
If Adele is taking her sound in a new direction, the album might feature a second singer on a track. The question is – who could compete with the “amazing” voice that is Adele? There are some unsubstantiated whispers that Beyoncé might appear, but that might be more a reflection of Adele’s admiration for Queen Bey than anything.
25 has the unfortunate distinction of being the album that defeated Lemonade for Album of the Year at the 2017 Grammy Awards. “I can’t possibly accept this award,” said Adele after winning, per The Guardian. “I’m very humbled, and I’m very grateful … but my artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the Lemonade album, is just so monumental.”
“I spoke to her before just to let her know how honored and privileged I felt to be nominated alongside her, and we spoke afterward as well and she was very gracious and humble, as always, as we’ve come to expect,” Adele told reporters in a rare press room interview, per Billboard. “And the reason I felt the need to say something is because my album of the year is Lemonade. She is my icon of my whole life. I felt like it was her time to win. What the f-ck does she have to do to win Album of the Year? That’s how I feel.”
What songs are going to be on Adele’s new album?
As of April 2021, little to nothing is known about the songs on her fourth album. Adele’s last single was “Water Under The Bridge,” released in November 2016. Since then, there has been nothing but silence from Adele, music-wise. Fans are ready for her to make some noise.
After the first quarter of 2021, there is not much to report on Adele’s fourth album. However, fans are hopeful that this will change. As the COVID-19 pandemic gets under control and major stars can tour and capitalize on new music, many fans suspect that 2021 will finally bring the long-awaited return of the one, the only, Adele.