Album Reviews Music

The Return of Adele: 30 Review.

By Jasmine Jones.

The Return of Adele: 30 Review.

After a six-year hiatus from music and the public eye, Adele is finally back with her new, highly anticipated album 30, and it certainly delivered. Arguably Adele’s most powerful album to date, 30 is an ambitious and ferocious creation centred around “divorce, babe, divorce” and the roller-coaster of emotions that came with ending her 8-year relationship to Simon Konecki. That being said, there is a sense of healing and freedom projected as the album progresses, something we are not used to hearing in previous albums such as 21 and 25 that focus on romantic rejections and betrayal. From one song to the next, 30 revels in the triumph of getting through the toughest periods of life and inspires listeners to ‘just hold on’.

The album consists of a mix of radio-friendly tunes, such as the smash hit ‘Easy On Me’, and a few more contemporary style songs that truly showcase Adele’s vocal range and real emotional trauma at the time of production.

30 begins with the dreamy and subtle ‘Strangers By Nature’, perfectly setting the tone for the more powerful ballads further down the track list. The other-worldly sounds mixed with the deeply moving lyrics instantly connects the listener to Adele’s complex journey and how it has now brought her peace and freedom. At the end of the song Adele says “alright then I’m ready”, suggesting that she is ready to move on and for the world to hear her story in this melodious way. 

My personal favourite track has to be ‘I Drink Wine’ which details the struggles of ending her relationship and the coping mechanisms Adele used during this time. Originally a 15-minute power ballad, ‘I Drink Wine’ quickly became a fan favourite after it’s release due to its 1970s undertones and beautiful instrumentals;soaking it all up for fun but now I only soak up wine”. The meaning behind this gracious song becomes even more powerful when Adele announced that she became sober after her divorce from Simon Konecki in September 2019, highlighting her personal growth through turbulent times and mirrored through the journey of the album.

Most breath-taking, and a theme throughout the album, are the confessional verses in which we hear Adele talking about the heartache and vulnerability that she is struggling with through her divorce and navigating motherhood alone. This is especially a tear-jerker in the song ‘My Little Love’ in which we hear clips of Adele talking with her son Angelo, explaining her feelings and confusion post-divorce; “you know mummy doesn’t like anyone else like I like you, right?”. What I would do to listen to that song for the first time again. 

Adele explains that this album is not only an expression of her journey through divorce, but a way of communicating these emotions to her son and to let him know when he’s older how much both his parents loved him.In her interview with Oprah titled ‘Adele: One Night Only’ she addedI just wanted him to hear me talking madly deeply about who I am and how I feel, like you know, and I don’t know if I’d ever be able to have that conversation with him in real life.” This candid chat with global superstar Oprah delved into many other topics besides from the album release, such as the reconciliation with Adele’s father before his death and the headlines focusing on her recent weight loss. She added my body has been objectified my entire career. I’m either too big or too small; I’m either hot or I’m not”, going on to ask why as a singer she can’t be judged purely on her talent.

And yet despite all these incredible marketing campaigns, the most successful piece was yet to come. Shrouded in secrecy, ‘An Audience with Adele’ was broadcast to everyone’s surprise on ITV on the 21st November and can only be described as magnificent and quintessentially British. The all-star audience, including Emma Thompson and Stormzy, made impactful and hilarious appearances that were so unexpected and almost bizarre, but a true testament to Adele’s universal impact and the love from her home crowd shone through.

The most heart-warming moment of the show was by far when Adele’s school teacher Ms McDonald surprised the international star onstage, after Adele had shared with the audience how inspirational her teacher was to her career. This moving moment led to a brief interlude from the utterly glorious vocals while the star went to “fix her face”, asking Alan Carr to cover which led to a spontaneous karaoke style rendition of ‘Make You Feel My Love’, arguably the highlight of the show for many.

More so than any of her previous albums, 30 tells a story from beginning to end. It has pushed boundaries, let us into the deepest and darkest times of her life, and is utterly beautiful. There is no doubt as to why she is the best-selling artist of this generation.

30 is available to stream now on Spotify.