Like a phoenix reborn, Adele has emerged from the ashes of heartbreak and channeled the cracks into a diverse collection of Amy Winehouse-y blues, tear-gushing piano ballads and even new sounds. 30 goes down a different path than Adele’s last album, 25. 30 is not the woman-scorned, divorce tell-all the Twitter-sphere thought it would be when news broke of her split to her husband Simon Konecki. “I feel like I’m divorcing myself, really,” Adele told Oprah, in a recent sit down with the token celebrity therapist. Her new release is a wide range of all the stages of grief. The album is happy, sad and all the in-betweens. Adele told Vogue 30 belongs to her more than any other album does. Despite her fierce protectiveness, she has given the world something so raw and personal, it feels like we are reading the singer’s diary with no pages ripped out.
Adele christened her official comeback by performing “One Night Only” at the Griffith Observatory, serenading a celebrity-stacked audience and the Los Angeles mountains with her outer-worldly vocals (now how does one get an invite to something like this?). Wearing black and sparkly Schiaparelli, the singer admitted she was quite nervous to perform her new music. But, despite being out of the spotlight for years, Adele’s voice has not missed a beat. The camera pans to stars like Lizzo and Leonardo Dicaprio, who just like us, are absolutely starstruck. Similar to Beyonce, Adele is so beloved she leaves mere “ordinary” Grammy and Oscar winners speechless.
30 was officially released to non-Griffith Observatory attendees on November 19th, 2021. 25 and 21 open with big punches—“Hello” and “Rolling In The Deep,” respectively. Adele’s new album wades into an emotional ocean with ease. “Strangers By Nature” feels like you’re floating in an old movie, where things are ominous and about to go all wrong. Later in the album, “All Night Parking (with Erroll Garner) Interlude” continues this dream-like waltz, but with newly found love, as Adele sings, “I’m just excited to go home / And dream about you / All night long.”
“Easy On Me” is the calming force of the album. Adele’s voice cascades like a bird through a morning breeze. After the calm comes the storm with “My Little Love.” “My Little Love” holds us captive on the other side of a difficult phone conversation where Adele bares her darkest moments to an unknown listener. “I feel like today was the first day since I left him that I feel lonely / And I never feel lonely, I love being on my own.”
“Cry Your Heart Out” plays tribute to Adele’s British roots, with Amy Whinehouse-inspired blues and doo whoops. She follows with her classic Adele sound in “Oh My God” and “Can I Get It” that promise to sell out arenas.
In “I Drink Wine,” Adele says, “’Cause I need some substance in my life, something real / Something that feels true.” Adele recently spoke about her relationship with alcohol. She had always been fascinated by it and had to give it up for some time while working through her hopelessness. “I Drink Wine” has a sad groove, feeling like a kind of surrender to the things we can’t control.
“Woman Like Me” presents the anger stage, while “Hold On” is a desperate plea for a lifeline. “To Be Loved” is for grand pianos in gorgeous rooms—it is cinematic in its piano composition and Adele’s vocals pushing to the impossible.
“Love Is A Game” is the main character’s walk out song; the movie is about to end and the heartbroken finally got their closure, ready to leave sadness behind and begin again. After everything, there is hope for happiness and love again.
Adele is back. “I’m ready to be famous again,” she joked in her Vogue interview. After a long recluse, the British singer presents an album of closure that neither scorns nor adorns her past lovers. And rumour has it, it’s already another Grammy smashing contender.