Who Is Adele's Album '25' Really About?

Are we all feeling nice and rested and refreshed after listening to Adele's new album while sobbing in the fetal position all night? Are we ready to find out what inspired the album 25 ? I hope so, because I need something to do while my eyes de-puff, and it might as well be speculation and digging around in Adele's interviews for clues. Because of Adele's previous work, like 21, which was reportedly written about a man a decade older than Adele, whom she'd dated for 18 months before he broke her heart, I assumed that 25 in general would be about a romantic relationship. However, that seems not to be the case.

There is, of course, at least one song about her boyfriend Simon Konecki, "Water Under the Bridge," but the album as a whole is dedicated less to him than to Adele herself, and how it felt to return to that self after becoming a mother. The first clue is in the name of the album itself: 25. Adele is 27 now, but she was 25 in 2012, which is when she gave birth to her son Angelo. This album is about who she was at that point, her mental and emotional state.

That doesn't mean that the album is about motherhood, mind you, as that's an important distinction. Adele had originally planned for 25 to be about being a mom, but that didn't quiiiiite end up panning out. As she told the BBC, "I did pretty much write an album about being a mum but that's pretty boring. I scrapped that. I felt like I was never going to finish this record. It was a long process. I wanted to give up a lot because I couldn't do it. I thought I'd run out of ideas and I'd lost my ability to write a song."

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But she didn't! She just had to get some inspiration, and it ended up coming from the unlikeliest of places: Madonna. And specifically, Adele was inspired by Madonna's album Ray of Light , which she wrote after her daughter Lourdes Leon was born in 1996.

You know what I found so amazing about that record?... That's the record Madonna wrote after having her first child, and for me, it's her best. I was so all over the place after having a child, just because my chemicals were just hitting the f*cking roof and sh*t like that... I was just drifting away, and I couldn't find that many examples for myself where I was like, 'F*ck, they truly came back to themselves,' until someone was like, 'Well, obviously, Ray of Light.'

The song "Frozen," in particular, pushed her back into herself, as she felt it was an expression by Madonna of a sentiment like, "I've gotten my confidence to come and do me again." So, here's the video you have to thank for bringing Adele back to us in such fine form. Take a look.

I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty incredible — not to mention generous — that Adele wrote 25 not about a romantic relationship, but about her journey back to herself and her career after becoming a mom. Because what is more personal than that?