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25 Things We Know About Adele's '25' (So Far)
The phrase "triumphant return" has never been more aptly applied than to Adele's return to our hearts and headphones.
The 27-year-old singer re-emerged with a mysterious 30-second TV commercial last month, which led to the record-breaking single "Hello." But this is just the beginning: Before the end of the year, the world will be blessed with Adele's third studio album, 25.
In anticipation, Billboard has gathered up all the intel we have (so far) on the new album. Here are 25 things we know about 25:
1. Here's the full 25 track list: "Hello," "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)," "I Miss You," "When We Were Young," "Remedy," "Water Under the Bridge," "River Lea," "Love in the Dark," "Million Years Ago," "All I Ask" and "Sweetest Devotion."
2. Adele wrote the bulk of the album when she was 25 years old, using the same naming pattern of previous albums 19 and 21.
3. While Adele originally wrote an album about "being a mum," she scrapped it in favor of 25. "That's pretty boring," she told BBC 1 about her initial subject matter.
4. But that doesn't mean she's back to singing about the ex who dominated 21. "If I were still writing about him, that'd be terrible," Adele told Rolling Stone.
5. In fact, it's not a lost-love project at all. "My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record," Adele wrote in a tweeted note to fans last month. "I'm making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did."
6. Adele further explained 25's vibe in a SiriusXM interview: "There is some darkness on it, just because I like to do dramatic. I'm a bit of a drama queen. ... This record is all about how I feel as opposed to how someone else has made me feel. It's about how I made myself feel."
7. One of Adele's influences for making a return-to-form album after having kids was Madonna's Ray of Light. "That's the record Madonna wrote after having her first child," Adele told RS. "And for me, it's her best."
8. Adele teamed up with The Bird and the Bee's Greg Kurstin for the first time, for co-writing and production on "Hello," "A Million Years Ago" and "Water Under the Bridge." "I really felt very comfortable around her because she makes you feel that way," Kurstin told The Associated Press. "She's just cool, and then she gets on the microphone and of course blows your mind."
9. Six months passed between writing the verses and chorus of first single "Hello." "We had half a song written," Kurstin told Rolling Stone. "I just had to be very patient."
10. A lot has been made about who Adele is calling from her flip phone on "Hello," and the answer is: lots of people. "It's not about anyone specifically," she told i-D. "It's about friends, ex-boyfriends, it's about myself, it's about my family. It's also about my fans as well."
11. Or is no one else on the line? "'Hello' is as much about regrouping with myself, reconnecting with myself," she told Rolling Stone.
12. Adele's favorite 25 track is "When We Were Young,” she revealed in radio interviews last month, and it's rumored to be the second single (though a rep for Adele had no comment for Billboard when asked for confirmation).
13. "When We Were Young" was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and co-written with Tobias Jesso Jr., who has "a very '70s singer-songwriter vibe," Adele said in a SiriusXM interview.
14. Another fun fact about "When We Were Young": It was recorded on composer Philip Glass' piano.
15. "Water Under the Bridge" is about Simon Konecki, Adele's longtime partner and the father of her son, Angelo. "It was sort of about a relationship suddenly getting really, really serious," she told Rolling Stone, "and then getting a bit frightened by it, and then realizing that, 'I think this must be right. This is the relationship that I want to be in for as long as I can possibly be in it.'"
16. "Send My Love (To Your Lover)" was originally titled "We Ain't Kids No More." ("Otherwise, you might as well just call the f---ing album Old," she told Rolling Stone.) She wrote an early draft of the song when she was just 13.
17. "Who's Max Martin?" That was Adele's question before she teamed up with the biggest pop songwriter of the past two decades for "Send My Love," according to an interview with i-D, after she wondered aloud who was behind Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble." "I love it, it's f---ing sick," Adele said of her Martin team-up, which has a calypso vibe. "Straight away, a million people in my life will be like, 'Oh shit, what have I done...'"
18. Martin's regular collaborator Shellback also worked on "Send My Love," for what Rolling Stone dubbed "what may be her catchiest, most modern song ever."
19. "All I Ask" is a Bruno Mars collaboration with intense vocals. "I've never sung so hard in me whole life," she told i-D. "Can you imagine the fun me and Bruno had making that?"
20. "River Lea," produced by Gnarls Barkley mastermind Danger Mouse, is an ode to Adele's London upbringing. "When I grew up as a child I grew up on the River Lea/ Now there's some of that water in me," the lyrics read, according to i-D. "To wit: I'll never change. Tottenham is my mind, body and soul."
21. After teaming up on the 21 hit "Rumour Has It," Adele reunited with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder for the ballad "Remedy," which was written about her son. "When the pain cuts too deep and the night keeps you from sleep, I will be your remedy," the lyrics read, according to Rolling Stone.
22. While none of Sia's songs ended up on the album (the Australian singer/songwriter's latest single "Alive" was actually intended for 25), Adele was delighted to finally have another woman in the studio. "I actually love the dynamic of us both being in there and just f---ing being bossy," she told RS. "And it's all these male producers, and they're all f---ing shitting themselves 'cause we're in there."
23. Other famous names that didn't make the cut this time around: Pharrell and Damon Albarn. Her time with the Blur and Gorillaz frontman didn't pan out, with Albarn later calling Adele's music "middle of the road" in an interview. "It ended up being one of those 'don't meet your idol' moments," Adele told Rolling Stone. "And the saddest thing was that I was such a big Blur fan growing up. But it was sad, and I regret hanging out with him."
24. A deluxe version of 25, available exclusively at Target, will include three bonus tracks: "Can’t Let Go," "Lay Me Down" and "Why Do You Love Me."
25. 25 will arrive Nov. 20.