As the release date for Adele’s third studio album, 25, approaches — only 17 days! — more details continue to emerge about its sound. The singer shared information last week in i-D and has confirmed and expanded on some of her comments about the album in a new Rolling Stone interview.
In i-D, Adele confirmed collaborations on 25 with Bruno Mars and Danger Mouse, and has now offered details about them. Adele tells Rolling Stone that her Mars-featuring song “All I Ask” started as an uptempo song but turned into an “unapologetically dramatic ballad” where she hits notes higher than ever. For “River Lea,” Danger Mouse sampled the singer’s voice and then used the vocal samples to create “choirlike keyboard chords.”
Adele also embraced other modern collaborators. Singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr., who co-wrote Sia’s new single “Alive with Adele, helped out on the 25 track she says is her favorite, the balled “When We Were Young.” After hearing Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” she recruited Max Martin and Shellback to give “Send My Love (To Your Lover)” — originally titled “We Ain’t Kids No More” — a contemporary sensibility.
Adele also teamed up with some of the producers who helped her achieve previous success. Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote “Rumour Has It” and “Turning Tables,” lent an assist on “Remedy,” a song Adele says she wrote about her child and sings “for everyone that I really love.” Producer Paul Epworth, who was behind “Rolling In The Deep” — and says 25 “was about trying to come up with the weirdest sounds [he] could get away with” — returned for two tracks. And Rick Rubin, who provided feedback for Adele’s previous album 21, critiqued the first versions of her songs as too generic: “It’s not just her voice singing any song that makes it special,” he told Rolling Stone.
There’s plenty of material that didn’t make it on 25, too. Adele opened up about her ill-fated collaboration with Blur front Damon Albarn, who said publicly that Adele’s music was “middle of the road” after the two tried to record together. She also added that numerous outtakes from 25 exist, telling Rolling Stone that she chose not include songs that weren’t “f–king good enough” because “that’s where a lot of people go wrong, thinking that people will buy any old s–t from you.”
Head over to Rolling Stone to read more about Adele.