“30” by Adele: A review on an album reflecting pain and disappointment

It’s November 19th and it’s Adele day across the globe. “30” finally gets released. We’re prepared for listening to her fourth studio album after sooo much marketing! The campaign on “30” was out-of-this-world, i mean Adele did everything, photo shoots and extended interviews for fashion magazines, radio interviews in UK and US, a show with Orpah, social media craziness. Everything included to promote this album which reflects her pain and disappointment in life, inspired by her divorce with ex-husband Simon Konecki (he must feel such an asshole after this album, feel a bit sorry for him!)

“30” sounds more jazzy and you can feel it from the intro “Stangers By Nature”. Adele chooses several musical paths like jazz, rhythm and blues to blend in. The album also sounds very soul at some tracks, the old school soul. It’s good for the mainstream audience to finally listen different arrangement in songs. And I write this because Adele is pop, her audience is mostly used to listen to computer music these days. And that on “30” may be only heard on 2 tracks, maybe the most radio friendly tunes on the album, “Oh My God” and the Max Martin produced “Can I Get It”, where I can make some comparison to Ed Sheeran and LP’s music. But the rest of the album is different. It’s good to know (from the beginning of her career) that she admires Amy Winehouse as you can finally listen to many vocal arrangements the similarities. I enjoyed the gospel choir used to some fillings, it gives a better perspective on the tunes. Of course the mix and the mastering of the album, once more, brings in front of the speakers Adele’e voice and leaves everything else behind. I would really love on her next release to sound differently!

Lyrically Adele hits highs and lows expaining her feelings in almost each song . Yeap the progression of the album goes too deep in her soul. She wants her story to be heard, she wants to tell everything. As she says in her track (the one that goes straight to her ex) “Woman Like Me” she needs consistency and compacency. (He must really feel like an asshole!)

One of the sweetest and alongside saddest songs of the album is “My Little Love” where she speaks on her son. She also put dialogues of theirs inside the track and in the end she cries out loud. It’s the pressure of motherhood and the explaining she does to make all of her thoughts come out her system. The reggae influenced “Cry Your Heart Out” that comes next on the album explains those feelings better.

I loved the ballad “To Be Loved”, it sounds a lot like a Mariah Carey 90s ballad and we sure miss songs like this, so it’s nice to have it on this album. Do we have a Donny Hathaway-like intro here? Whatever, I loved it!

Generally the tracklist is in perfect mode. The flow is great. Of course lots of ballads, smooth mid tempo sound. The whole concept album closes with a “Love Is A Game” , which yes sounds like an outro (though I would prefer to not have a fade out).

“30” reflects perfectly on a disappointed woman’s side on a broken relationship. The loneliness, the crying, the love not felt right, the nights that don’t pass easily, the drinking, the deeper inner thoughts all of these. And the worst (also best) part is that it’s released after a world quarantine (because of covid) where feelings felt too strong for everyone. And lots of feelings are in here.

But let’s not forget one thing, Adele is a diva herself after the huge rise to stardom and for sure her ex probably couldn’t get along with everything that this involved. It’s nice to explain yourself on a self-reflecting album after a divorce, but that sounds a bit bitchy to me. In the end she sounds like a woman who couldn’t handle fame and a husband in her life. So, she chose fame! Lots of it! Yeap, didn’t go easy on her. She almost asks for it after so many interviews, she asks from people to forgive her for writing one album after another, about her break ups. Get over it honey! Find a dude that serves you well.

Here’s the album. 😉

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