Adele's much anticipated third studio album, 25, was released Friday. In it, she does what she does best — cuts to the core of her audience with human ballads charged with sentimentality. One track in particular, "All I Ask," which she wrote with Bruno Mars, tugged on the heartstrings of fans everywhere.
"I will leave my heart at the door," Adele sings. "I won't say a word/ They've all been said before/ So why don't we just play pretend/ Like we're not scared of what's coming next or scared of having nothing left."
With "All I Ask," Adele and Mars have clearly hit a nerve. Though Adele splays her heart across all the tracks, "All I Ask" leaves listeners with a solid sense of accepting love lost, and dredges up the dreadful finality that resignation brings with it. However, the lyrics drop listeners right into the quiet moments that precede resigning to the end of a liaison. In essence, the song arrives at an emotional plane that's devastating yet utterly relatable.
Reacting to "All I Ask," Adele fans on Twitter were beside themselves.
Adele - All I Ask pic.twitter.com/cu0JEOew2H
if you want to break your own heart then listen to Adele-'All I Ask'
@CELEBUZZ @Adele Send My Love is catchy. All I Ask is good too. pic.twitter.com/lYH3sVvv1H
All I Ask on Adele's new album. I can't. All of the feels. #25
"All I Ask" by Adele
Adele - All I Ask, it's just so so so sad I can feel my body aching when i hear the song.
Adele just ripped out my soul and stomped on it then shredded it then threw it in the garbage with "All I Ask"
Once fans on Twitter began to recover from the initial emotional devastation of "All I Ask," many pointed out the masterful musicianship.
Adele's "All I Ask" is amazing. Here's how @jameswest2010 & I reacted to listening to it http://bit.ly/1X1bJhI pic.twitter.com/HE72pFCoBT
When Adele hits the key change on "All I Ask" pic.twitter.com/5poXomZrfM
"Now, don't get me wrong," Adele continues on the track. "I know there is no tomorrow/ If this is my last night with you/ Hold me like I'm more than just a friend/ Give me a memory I can use/ Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do/ It matters how this ends.
"'Cause what if I never love again?" she adds, as listeners fumble for tissues.
Adding to the grief of "All I Ask," fans were chagrined to learn that 25 would not be streaming on Spotify. But it's available for purchase via iTunes for $10.99. For those with nerves of steel, or for emotional masochists, here's footage of Adele performing "All I Ask" live at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday in New York City:
Correction: Nov. 20, 2015
An earlier version of this article misidentified the cost of 25 on iTunes. It's $10.99.