I first started listening to Adele when I was 13. I was watching an episode of SNL very innocently, with no idea that my life was about to change. When the host, Josh Brolin, announced the first performance of a musical guest named Adele, I decided not to skip it like I might normally do when I don’t recognize the artist; I’m so glad I didn’t. The intro riff to “Chasing Pavements” began, and soon enough an incredibly sultry voice came out of this unknown British girl’s mouth. I was mesmerized.

I listened to the rest of 19 and fell in love with her soulful ballads. I eagerly awaited 21 and was not disappointed by the incredible artistry of the music. But then, nothing.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

But she didn’t release any more new music. I was crushed. This woman had taught me to feel confident about my raspy voice, which was significantly deeper than most girls my age and had always been a source of discomfort and low self-esteem. I almost felt betrayed that she stopped sharing her musical gifts which had inspired my own dream of singing.

After a while I forgot to hope and moved on with my life. Four years passed, I finished high school and got through my first year of college (barely). Then I started my second year of college and intermittently listened to 19 and 21 in order to find some semblance of solace in the hectic collegiate world.

There were rumors, tiny murmurs about Adele making a comeback. I had learned to distrust these statements, disregarding them as false hope. But then…

The preview for “Hello” was released, and the music world exploded. But no one could have been nearly as excited as I was. Then the full song came out and I must’ve listened to it “a thousand times”. The powerful ballad was the perfect first release from the long-awaited third album.

Next came “When We Were Young,” not to be confused with The Killers’ “When You Were Young”. It started off very similarly to “Hello,” with a slow piano intro. This second release was a slightly less tormented follow-up, but still powerful. The lyrics washed over me: “Let me photograph you in this light in case it is the last time that we might be exactly like we were before we realized we were sad of getting old, it made us restless.” I’d been going through some tough times with nostalgia lately, so this song spoke to me on a level that “Hello” didn’t (not that I didn’t love them both).

When the album was finally released, I immediately went on Amazon and bought the CD, which came with a free mp3 download. I spent the next hour lying in my bed, enraptured by the music.

I was surprised by the fact that not all the songs are heartbreaking ballads like “Hello” and “When We Were Young”. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” while discussing a melancholy breakup, has a staccato rhythm that made me want to get up and dance with a hairbrush-microphone in hand, Lizzie McGuire Movie-style. “I Miss You” is backed by a mellow drum and angelic backup voices. “Remedy” is a nod to Adele’s signature soft, yearning ballads. “Water Under the Bridge” almost reminded me of an Ellie Goulding song. “River Lea” acted as a soulful tribute to Motown classics, but with a contemporary twist. “Love You in the Dark” is the kind of song that makes you want to sob and stuff your face with Oreos (not that most songs don’t produce a similar reaction). “Million Years Ago” is a spitting image of Passenger’s “Golden Leaves” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, GO LISTEN TO THIS AMAZING PIECE OF ART RIGHT NOW! FINISH READING THIS LATER!), with it’s mellow but melancholy guitar riffs and heartbreakingly reminiscent lyrics that will resonate with anyone who is longing for a simpler time. In “All I Ask,” Adele expertly belts her way through this incredibly touching piece. “Sweetest Devotion” brings to mind the happier times of 19 and Adele’s early music.

What I’m trying to say in this absurdly long article (if you’re even still reading this) is that you should go listen to Adele’s new album, 25! It’s incredible and 100% worth your time and money (sorry guys, it’s not available on Spotify or Apple Music). Hopefully she won’t wait another four years to come out with more music, but if she does at least we’ll have this treasure to hold on to.