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Adele’s fourth studio album, 30, was released on Nov. 19, 2021 (Photo provided via @adele on Instagram).

Album Review: ‘30’ is Adele’s most vulnerable album yet

Over the years, Adele has known how to capture the true nature of pain, loss, suffering and, of course, heartbreak for listeners everywhere. This time around, the singer is ready to bear her soul once again, opening up about her recent divorce from Simon Konecki and revolving a majority of her new songs around her nine-year-old son Angelo. 

Unlike the gut-wrenching, emotionally draining tracks of past debuts like 21 and 25, 30 is Adele coming to terms with the reality of her life, not just as a global sensation but as a mother and former wife as well. She also admits to struggling to find love again, alluding to relationships in the past that have left her feeling unsatisfied or used. 

This album details Adele’s life before, during and after her divorce and the trials and tribulations that came with all those stages in her life. In an interview with Apple Music, the singer even said, “Music is my therapy.” 

This sentiment is in every new track of this album, each song loaded with jazz and gospel influences and sounds. Adele’s lyrics are even more vulnerable, not afraid to acknowledge the mental and physical toll her divorce took on her wellbeing.

For example, lyrics like “When will I be myself again?” from the track “Cry Your Heart Out” and “To be loved and love at the highest count / Means to lose all the things I can’t live without” from the track “To Be Loved” are some of Adele’s best, proving the fearless attitude she has in regards to letting fans know how she’s truly been feeling over the past six years.

Even on lighter and upbeat tracks like “Oh My God” and “All Night Parking (with Erroll Garner) Interlude,” Adele still manages to incorporate self-empowerment and hope into the album. Outside of the music world, the singer is generally witty and cheerful and these characteristics are definitely the most present they’ve ever been in Adele’s tone and lyrics.

In a way, this album is Adele’s rebirth as an artist. Her voice is stronger than ever on this album and even though there’s sadness and pain throughout much of the track list, there’s also hope. Hope that one can love again and grow to become the person they want to be, even after experiencing trauma. 

Here are some of the tracks that listeners should watch out for from 30: 

“Easy On Me”

This was the first track Adele released for the album and it did not disappoint. This emotional song is all about self-reflection and in this case, the singer is reflecting on the hardships of going through a divorce. Mainly, the singer begs for forgiveness, especially from her ex-husband and son. It’s a good song to start off the beginning of the album with and allows for listeners to truly hear the suffering Adele was experiencing at the time. 

“My Little Love”

Following “Easy On Me,” this song is like a punch to the gut thanks to the voice recordings Adele strategically placed throughout its six minute and 29 second runtime. The singer has even said this song is for her son and the recordings consist of the two talking about divorce. The use of layered and echoed vocals emphasize the catastrophic feeling of letting go of the person you love and how to move on from that. 

“Oh My God”

Adele knew exactly what she was doing putting this song on the album. With a reminiscence of “Rolling in the Deep,” this song has a very distinct opening with a pulsing drum beat that is sassy and bold. This is Adele’s reintroduction to the dating scene and how the fear that comes with opening up to someone new can be intoxicating, yet intriguing.

“To Be Loved”

The second to last track off 30 may as well be saved best for last. With a gorgeous piano intro, the lyrics of this song are potentially some of Adele’s most well-written. She sings of feeling lost in her life just like in the past and that it’s time to face her problems. Maybe young love doesn’t always survive but it doesn’t mean the likelihood of love for one moving forward is doomed. By the end of this song, you will need all the tissues you can get your hands on. 

Ranking: 5/5

@grace_koe

gk011320@ohio.edu

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