CD reviews: Adele

Heartache, despair, regret, the hope of reconciliation ... yes, it's the new album by British songstress Adele.

Her follow-up to 2011's 21 confirms the dexterity and emotional depth that took her to the top hasn't dimmed.

In fact, Adele's singing has improved.

Certainly, it's a testament to her vocal artistry that she is able to overcome co-written songs that offer overdone R&B-infused pulse, à la Send My Love (To Your New Lover), and, on more than one occasion, overblown balladry (Remedy) that's destined for many a wedding playlist.

There are moments of bliss, the spare finger-picked acoustic guitar of Million Years Ago with its phrasing that slithers and soars.

•  Adele. 25. XL Recordings.

•  Three and a half stars (out of five)

Single download: Hello
For those who like: Barbra Streisand

- Shane Gilchrist

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