Adele’s “30” tells a story of poignance she’s overcome in herself

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Jia Takayoshi

Adele’s Highly Anticipated “30” released on Nov. 19 2021 leaving fans astonished.

By Shreya Jagannathan and Rhea Master

Adele’s highly anticipated album, “30,” was released on Nov. 19, 2021 leaving fans in awe. The 15-time Grammy winner came through with the same talent we know and love from her, but with a new level of vulnerability that we haven’t seen before.

Fans rushed to listen to Adele’s latest album, following a six-year wait after her last studio release, “25.” Her new album gives fans insight of the trials and tribulations that she faced during her divorce from Simon Konecki that was finalized in March of this year. “30” was written in a rough point of Adele’s life as she separated from Simon two years prior in April of 2019.

As Adele juggles a work-life balance, she shows a new side of herself that is more than heartbreak and finding love, feelings that many of her fans can undoubtedly relate to. During an interview with Oprah, Adele confessed that “It was just exhausting trying to keep going with it. It’s a process. The process of divorce, the process of being a single parent, the process of not seeing your child every single day … The process of arriving for yourself every single day, turning up for yourself every day and still running a home, running a business.”

These emotions really pour out in what we believe is one of the most emotional tracks on the album, “My Little Love.” The third song on her latest release includes voice notes of conversations between the singer and her son, Angelo Atkins, centered around the topic of divorce. In one of the recordings, Adele says, “Mommy’s been having a lot of big feelings recently . . . I feel a bit confused,” and later explains “I love your dad ’cause he gave you to me. You’re half me and you’re half Daddy.”

Her now-nine year old son’s responses show the innocence of youth in even the darkest of times. In one note Adele says “Tell me you love me,” and he responds, “I love you a million percent.” Conversely, one of the hardest parts to listen to was when her son said, “Oi, I feel like you don’t love me,” to which Adele assured him, “You know Mummy doesn’t like anyone else like I like you, right?”

“I Drink Wine” is Adele’s statement about how much she has grown as a person. A song that was originally supposed to be 15 minutes long takes listeners into Adele’s head through beautiful lyrics and a catchy tune. The song can easily be everyone’s next karaoke favorite with its unique arrangement paired with Adele’s powerful voice. This song poses a contrast to “My Little Love” in that Adele is now asking the big questions in the voice memos she inserted. Lines like, “When I was a child/Every single thing could blow my mind/Soaking it all up for fun/But now I only soak up wine,” show Adele’s realization that life isn’t as simple as it used to be. In one of her memos she says, “There was just memories in a big storm,” as she looks back on her relationship and being young again. She delivers this story and emotion through a truly sophisticated power ballad.

“Easy On Me,” which is the 2nd track on the album and the first released single, quickly topped charts. It is no surprise as the dominant piano melody resembles a lot of Adele’s older songs and albums that her listeners have been using to channel their rawest emotions, such as “Hello” or “Someone Like You.” It is in songs like these, in which you can hear the impressive range Adele has. The song begins with a softer tone, echoing with a sense of sorrow that gradually becomes a series of her masterful runs. It’s like witnessing Adele grow emotionally strong by the second, through the anecdote she is telling with her voice. Adele released this song earlier than the rest of the album which gave all her listeners a reminder that she is back with the music that made her a 15-time grammy winner. As an avid Adele listener, “Easy On Me” is everything you’d expect from Adele.

Adele is evidently proposing a rather morbid opinion in “Love is A Game,” a melancholy ballad that includes both mellow and thick chords. With backing vocals, a rising choir and an echoey Adele herself. It begins with gentle instruments that sound much like the classical philharmonic which slowly fade into the background, in which you can enjoy something much like a fairytale interlude. The classical component in the beginning sounds quite similar to what you would have heard in the beginning of Disney’s 1959 film “Sleeping Beauty.” In this ballad you hear a truthful description of Adele’s experience with the divorce. With her ending line of the song, it feels meticulously planned as the finale for her entire album. The anecdote Adele has been telling from the start of her first track, “Strangers By Nature,” to the end of her last track “Love is Game” articulately captures the feelings coming from crippling guilt over divorce, motherhood and heartache in it’s repair. She ends her story with the last line being “I’d do it all again like I did then.” 

This is unquestionably Adele’s most sonically confident album, not because of her powerful voice or masterful lyricism but because she opens herself up to be vulnerable and gives listeners an inside look into her life. Rumor has it that “30” will go down as one of the best albums of 2021.

This story was originally published on Wildcat Tribune on December 15, 2021.