Adele releases new album, 30, following her divorce

Adele continues her theme of using pictures of her face as her album covers.

Adele continues her theme of using pictures of her face as her album covers.

Jessica Gunther, Associate Editor

   After a six-year hiatus, Adele released her fourth studio album, 30, on November 19th. Known for her emotional discography, 30 tells the story of her recent divorce from her husband, and she describes the album as “her most personal album yet.”

   A month prior to the release, Adele released “Easy On Me,” setting fans on edge in anticipation of the album. The song was another one of her classic emotive piano ballads that she does so well. 

   The whole album changes in genre and style throughout, but keeps with the same reflective and sentimental tone. The tracklist seems to be in a particular order, as she talks about her stages of moving on as they came through her songs. We can see a timeline as she escapes, processes, struggles with moving on, reflects, and finally makes peace.

   30 opens with the atmospheric track, “Strangers By Nature,” which announced that she and her ex divorced under irreconcilable, ‘natural’ differences. This leads into “Easy On Me”, which sends the same message but with a more straightforward piano accompaniment and less emphasis on choral arrangements and strings.

   The next track, “My Little Love,” serves as a letter to her son, explaining her divorce. During the soulful song, she plays recordings of exchanges between the two, one in which she says, “mummy’s been having a lot of big feelings recently.” This was one of my favorite tracks from the entire album. Most artists put more spotlight on romantic love, but here’s Adele singing to her son about how much she loves him and apologizing for the difficult situation he’s been put in. It’s refreshing to hear music about this kind of love as opposed to just romantic. 

   The next two songs, “Cry Your Heart Out” and “Oh My God” are much more upbeat and modern than her other jazz-oriented songs. “Cry Your Heart Out” ended up being my least favorite on the album, but “Oh My God” felt glamorous and fun despite the struggle described in the song. 

   I absolutely loved the guitar and percussion accompaniment in the next track, “Can I Get It,” and it was another one of my favorite tracks. It was unique to Adele’s usual sound, and it’s a song about moving on and “looking for real love in a sea of so many others looking for casual hookups,” after her attempt at dating again. 

   “I Drink Wine” was more somber and reflective, and “All Night Parking” was the same with elements of lo-fi, again differing from her usual sound. 

   “Woman Like Me,” was another guitar accompaniment, and wasn’t inspired by her ex husband, but a man she dated briefly afterwards. The song reflects her dissatisfaction with modern relationships and how society treats them with such simplicity. As a person who’s, simply put, very familiar with this dissatisfaction, I really enjoyed this track. 

   “Hold On” is the tenth track on the album, and is more soft-spoken than the other songs on the album, but still touches the hearts with meaningful lyrics. The same goes for “To Be Loved,” both being more piano accompaniments. They didn’t have the same energy that the first part of the album had, but they still sounded powerful thanks to Adele’s timeless voice. 

   The song closing the album, “Love Is A Game,” yet again involves strings and goes back to her classic sound of a mix between jazz and pop. The song is more upbeat and smooth, talking about new love. 

   I’d definitely recommend this album to a friend, and especially to someone who needs support during a major transition in their life. Adele illustrates that although there’s often difficult times and turns that life takes, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And don’t we all need that gentle reminder sometimes?