“30,” Adele’s highly anticipated album is finally out and here to put you through an emotional rollercoaster

Get ready for a lot of big feels with this one folks

Roman Pallotto, Arts & Culture Writer

On November 19, Adele released her fourth studio album titled “30” which has become the top-selling album of 2021 only a few days after release. 

Before releasing “30,” Adele previously released three albums. Each of her albums is named after the age that she was when she wrote them. Her first album was called “19,” then “21” and then “25.” Her last album was released in late 2015 left fans yearning for more content from her in these past few years. The success from these albums is really what created the heavy anticipation for her most recent piece of work. Because of hits like “Chasing Pavements” from “19,” “Rolling in the Deep” from “21” and “Hello” from “25,” her presence skyrocketed in the music industry. 

Before her recent album release, Adele had the world in a holding its breath. From her appearance on SNL sparking speculations about her album release a year in advance to projecting lights on buildings all over the world with the number “30” on them in October, she had numerous people guessing when this album would come out. 

Much of “30,” as in her previous albums, stems from the trials and growing pains she has faced in her own life. Her recent divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki, as well as her journey into parenthood, are reflected in the album. After being together for about seven years, Adele and Konecki’s marriage seemed to be worsening. Adele finalized the divorce in March after figuring out finances and their child. Her recent album reveals the raw emotions that Adele felt both from the divorce and how it impacted her son. 

Throughout the track list Adele goes through a multitude of emotions and revelations. In her first song, “Stranger By Nature,” she opens with the line “I’ll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart.” This song is about reflecting on her past actions and acknowledging herself as a bit of a mess. The track was thought out after she watched the Judy Garland biopic and wondered why people don’t make music like they used to back in the days when Garland was popular. The song immerses us with theatrical rhythms and a sort of 60’s aesthetic. 

Her third track titled “My Little Love” is sort of like a tribute to her son and an attempt to reveal to him the complexity of her identity outside of their relationship. The song featured recorded conversations between herself and her son as well as a voicemail left for her friend in the outro. The influence for these voice notes stems from a number of different musicians today who infuse their music with personal moments from their lives, including Tyler, the Creator and Skepta. These recordings give detailed insight into Adele’s emotional struggle after going through such a hard time. During the outro of the track she breaks down and sings, “And I never feel lonely, I love being on my own. I always prefer being on my own than being with people and I feel like maybe I’ve been, like, overcompensating.” The heartbreak echoed in her recordings express the struggles that come along with being a (newly single) mother. For her to tell her child concepts that are hard for adults to understand really exposes their deept connection. 

Her last track, titled “Love Is A Game,” is the perfect example of a phenomenal outro for an album. The song seems to pan out towards the end, allowing the listeners to reminisce on the album as a whole. The song brings back the jazzy, Garland-invoking sound brought forth in the first track of the album. This song is a reflection of her last chapter in life and how foolish love can really be. In past events, it seems that love can’t seem to really be on her side. The quality of the instrumentations on this track perfectly encapsulates the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” vibe she intends to give off. 

This emotional breakthrough of an album has received support from fans all over the world. The expectation for this album was to bring a heart-wrenching track list for people to cry to and, yet again, she was able to achieve that. Her influence is so large that she even requested that Spotify change their default shuffle button to a normal “play the first track” button because of how much effort artists put into their track list. According to Metacritic, the album received a score of 8.8 out of 10 based off of 1,026 critics.

Many people have stated that the album seems to also have been influenced by music in Black culture. Critics point out that singer Erykah Badu has very similar music to the tracks in this album, and the jazzy-undertones to many of her ballads seem to stem from traditional forms of blues and jazz music. The diversity of sound (including vocal range) as well as content solidifies Adele as one of the most talented composers and writers of our generation.

Personally, I really enjoyed listening to each track and analyzing the meanings behind every lyric. Never before have I heard Adele produce a heavy jazz and R&B inspired album and hopefully she continues down this road. In an interview with Apple Music she said, “Give me a jazz chord and a beat any day… I can’t wait for the other albums I’m gonna make” after talking about her first collaboration with the jazz pianist Erroll Garner on the track “All Night Parking.”

Overall, this album helped me realize that music can incorporate sincerity and at the same time sound refreshing and new. After the way the music industry is moving these past few years, it is relieving to hear that albums like this can still be produced. 

Personal Ranking:

  1.  “All Night Parking” (with Erroll Garner) Interlude
  2.  “Love Is A Game”
  3.  “My Little Love”
  4.  “I Drink Wine”
  5.  “Strangers By Nature”
  6.  “To Be Loved”
  7.  “Hold On”
  8.  “Oh My God”
  9.  “Easy On Me”
  10.  “Cry Your Heart Out”
  11.  “Woman Like Me”
  12.  “Can I Get It”