“It’s about divorce babe, divorce,” Adele responded to a fan on her Instagram live regarding the subject of her new album.
Adele released her fourth studio album,“30”, on Nov. 19. Anticipation and excitement for the release of “30” remained high as it is her first album in over six years.
Interestingly, Adele follows the theme of her past album titles (“19”, “21”, “25”) by titling the name of her new album with the age she was when she wrote the songs.
Since its release, “30” has become the most successful album in 2021 in the US and the UK.
“Selling more than 660,000 equivalent album units—which includes audio and video streaming and individual track sales—‘30’ has already triumphed over the other major releases of 2021,” Jeevan Ravindran from CNN said.
Like Adele’s previous albums, “30” deals with heartbreak. The album discusses the divorce with her ex-husband Simon Konecki and the resulting affects it had on her nine-year-old son Angelo.
Adele uses “30” as a letter to her son explaining the reasons behind her actions.
“I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal,” Adele told British Vogue.
Throughout the album, Adele feels conflicted with her choices. By experimenting with a mixture of genres such as pop, folk, jazz, reggae and more, she expresses her anxieties and uncertainties about her relationships, especially the one she has with herself.
The first track off the album, “Strangers by Nature,” is hauntingly beautiful and cinematic. Adele’s voice is complimented by a symphony.
Supposedly, “Strangers by Nature” pays homage to Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, since Garland was divorced multiple times. The song could illustrate Dorothy walking down the yellow brick road since the sound is mystical and magical.
In the first song, Adele apologizes for the role she played in the demise of her relationships and wonders if she can forgive herself. At the end of the song, Adele welcomes a new chapter in her life by stating with confidence, “All right and I’m ready.”
The second track, “Easy on Me,” is the first single off the record. The ballad is raw and emotional as she asks her son for forgiveness for separating from his father.
The third track, “My Little Love,” is another sad and sweet sentiment to her son. The song contains short audio clips of conversations between the two of them.
In the beginning of the song, her son says, “I feel like you don’t love me.” Adele consoles him by responding with, “Mommy doesn’t like anyone else like I like you, right?” Her son listens to her as she expresses her fears and confusion for her life.
Furthermore, the tracks after “My Little Love” like “Cry Your Heart Out,” “Oh My God,” and “Can I Get It” are more upbeat but follow the same heartbreaking tune.
Adele showcases her powerful vocal range from singing with a deeper, lower register on “Woman Like Me” to using her famous high notes on “To Be Loved.”
With 12 songs, Adele beautifully depicts the self-discovery that succeeds the failure of a difficult relationship.
Moreover, in the past, Adele’s songs such as “Rolling in the Deep” and “When We Were Young” became popular online and on the radio. However, “30” is not meant for mainstream media.
“If everyone’s making music for the TikTok, who’s making the music for my generation? Who’s making the music for my peers? I will do that job gladly. I’d rather cater to people that are on my level in terms of the amount of time we’ve spent on Earth and all the things we’ve been through,” Adele said in an interview with Apple Music.
Adele does not want to follow with Tik Tok trends; instead, she stays true to herself by making the music that she loves.
Ultimately, with “30,” Adele gives her audience a work of art—one they have been anticipating for years—that conveys her range of emotions and hopeful self-reflection.