By Kaitlin Dunn
On Nov. 19, Adele released her fourth studio album titled “30.” The album explains the reasoning behind her divorce from Simon Konecki after two years of marriage.
More simply put, “it’s about divorce, babe, divorce,” Adele said in an Instagram live interview prior to the album’s release.
The album consists of 12 tracks and opens with “Strangers By Nature.”
“I’ll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart for all of my lovers in the present and in the dark,” Adele sings on the track.
The song acts as a prelude to the album.
“With a grand string arrangement and dreamy production, Adele gives us a window in the intimate problems of a timeless star, and offers a sorrowful melisma once the strings drop away,” Billboard writer Jason Lipshutz said.
Adele’s album fluctuates between sorrowful ballads to jazz-inspired tracks, with each song adding more to the story that she is trying to convey.
“Strangers By Nature” is followed by lead single “Easy On Me” and “My Little Love,” a conversation between Adele and her son Angelo as she explains the divorce to him.
The lineup of the songs of “30” is integral to the story behind the album, so much so that the singer persuaded Spotify to remove the shuffle button from the album page.
“We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended,” Adele said in a tweet.
Despite being about divorce, Adele’s album is somehow therapeutic to younger audiences as well, even if they interpret the lyrics in a different way than they are presented.
“And I feel like maybe I’ve been, like, overcompensating,” Adele sings in “My Little Love.”
Despite the fact that she is singing about explaining the divorce to her son and trying to ensure that he feels safe and loved, the lyric can apply to a number of situations.
That is what makes Adele such a universal artist. Her music, while it may be specific in story and meaning, is written in a way that can be felt and appreciated by everyone.
“Empathy and vulnerability are her cornerstones; assurances that she gets it. Like Daniel Craig wanted to be a James Bond who bleeds, Adele is a pop star who openly weeps, refusing to hide behind a veneer of fame. Her sad songs say so much and give us permission to wallow,” USA Today writer Melissa Ruggieri said.
“I Drink Wine” encompasses just how truly relatable an Adele song can be as she sings about something nearly everyone can relate to — getting away from who you truly are and the journey to coming back to yourself.
“I hope I learn to get over myself. Stop trying to be somebody else,” she sings in the chorus. The song is “somewhat jaded, slightly bitter, but mostly realistic about her age and perspective, Adele reflects on how her priorities have changed,” Lipshutz said.
Arguably one of the most heart wrenching lyrics on the track, however, is “Why am I obsessing about the things I can’t control? Why am I seeking approval from people I don’t even know?”
Even if you are not a global pop star, you can relate to the lyrics of “I Drink Wine.”
Although the album tells a story, it is not without its ups and downs.
“Oh My God” is an up-tempo jazzier song that, at first listen, can feel a little out of place next to tracks such as “My Little Love” and “To Be Loved.”
“Although risks are taken with her sound — 30 includes some of the most dizzying uptempo songs of Adele’s career — they are bypassed by her commitment to lyrical honesty,” Lipshutz said.
Songs such as “Oh My God” may seem out of place at first listen, with its Amy Winehouse-esque edge and sass, but once you delve more into the album, it seems right at home.
The track fits perfectly into the overall story of the album. Divorce is messy. Upending your family structure is not a perfectly straight storyline, and sometimes there are bumps in the road.
“30” is a beautiful album that is relatable at its core, even if you yourself are not a 33-year-old divorcee.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Featured Photo Caption: Adele released her fourth studio album, “30,” six years after its predecessor, “25.” The singer is well known for her powerful, jazzy voice and soulful songs.