[Review] Adele returns better than ever with ’30’

Gabby Norman, Managing Editor

The world has been waiting six long years for the return of Adele, and she did not disappoint. The 33-year-old artist from London is known for her melancholy songs; and after her recent divorce, a downer album was expected and delivered. The songs focused on her heartbreak, pain, and eventual attempt to heal, all the while dealing with the love of motherhood and her son, Angelo.

Her latest album, 30, opens up strong, with “Strangers by Nature.” The song is almost reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, giving both fantastical and ominous tones off. The first lyrics, “I’ll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart,” sets the precedent for the rest of the album. 

As far as music goes, Adele went outside of her comfort zone, making this her most musically explorative album yet, which was hinted at by the song pre-released on the album, “Easy on Me.” She experiments with speaking backtracks on “My Little Love,” even featuring her son. “My Little Love” is one of the most personal songs Adele has released, made up of almost a confession of hurt and a realization that she doesn’t always have to be okay. She showcases the emotions behind a recent divorcee, how now she didn’t realize how much pain she was truly in, but she has to continue on for Angelo. 

Cry Your Heart Out,” is one of the most aptly-named on the album, where Adele sings about feeling like a ghost of herself, but ironically, it has one of the most upbeat and reggae-like beats on the album. Immediately following “Cry Your Heart Out,” is one of the other fast and energetic songs on the album, titled “Oh My God.” It is a sassy and sexy proclamation that she is now a single woman but is teetering the edge between heaven and hell.

Can I Get It” is also recognized as one of the more upbeat songs on the album, and showcases something a little bit different than what we are used to to seeing from her. “I Drink Wine” showcases the artist’s voice, and is really just a reflection of where she is in her life now. Immediately following this is “All Night Parking (with Erroll Garner) Interlude,” which is a collaboration with the legendary jazz pianist Erroll Garner. Adele gets to find the new, fun side of her divorce – the spark of something new.

Woman Like Me” is, in my opinion, the most emotionally heart wrenching song on the entire album. She sings about how “complacency is the worst trait” and sings about how consistency is “key to keep a woman about me.” 

We come from a strong, emotionally strenuous song to “Hold On,” which, aptly titled, showcases Adele’s struggle and defeatedness, she just wants to remind herself and other to hold on, and “let time be patient” and “let pain be gracious.”

To Be Loved” is widely considered as the best song on the album. With solely piano and her voice, Adele is almost painfully authentic. She covers the pain of making the decision to separate, but then realizes it was truly for the best. “Love is a Game” is the perfect ending to the album. Reminiscent of the feelings from “Strangers By Nature,” it opens Adele up and is representative of her beliefs. 

Adele has been known for relatable songs that are guaranteed to pull at heartstrings. From hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Hello,” to her latest content, she has topped the charts and is one of the best-selling artists of all time.