Everyone who has ever followed me or spoken to me for even a short amount of time can tell you that I love a good heartbreaking song. If the lyrics can pierce my heart and draw tears from my eyes, it will probably go number One on my iPhone charts. After almost 6 years, Adele is back with a brand-new album that seems to be ripe with new heartbreaking tracks. You know how they say that Lorde’s albums come at a time when you are transitioning in life, and Taylor Swift’s albums come when you most need them as if she is going through your diary? Well to me, Adele albums always come right before you need them. You must mature and grow into an Adele album. Songs that don’t hit now will hit 5 years later. What has Adele given us to grow into now? With a 58-minute playtime and just 12 tracks, on 30 Adele has a lot to say.
Track By Track Reviews
Strangers By Nature: I don’t know what I expected from this song at first. I always try to imagine what a song will sound like based on the title alone. Using all my knowledge of Adele’s past discography I tried to fathom how she would open 30. I could not have been more wrong. The immediate vibe I get is old school Disney princess movie. I could see this playing over the sleeping beauty dancing scene. It just sounds so classic. The song ends with Adele stating, “All right then, I’m ready,” setting up the rest of us for a rollercoaster ride of an album. (7/10)
Easy On Me: The first single from 30. “Easy on Me” is the epitome of an Adele track. It is a piano ballad that moves off the back of Adele’s vocals. The choice to release this song as the first single definitely skewed some perceptions of what the album as a whole would sound like. With lyrics that beg her audience to go “Easy on [her]” because she was “just a child” Adele pleads to be given grace for her actions. A very stunning track that is even better live. This is the Adele song that will get overplayed on karaoke night. (7/10)
My Little Love: Voice Notes: the Song. The first of several 6+ minute tracks on 30, “My Little Love” is more voice note than a song. That is not to say she isn’t singing at all. The entire track feels like something the listener is intruding on. It is a conversation with her son, featuring conversations with her actual son (who has the most adorable accent by the way). “Mommy’s having a lot of big feelings lately” This quotation sums up the song, but also this album as a whole. The song ends right around the 3-minute mark and then continues with a heartbreaking note from Adele where she laments feeling alone for the first time and terrified that she might feel like that a lot. As someone who feels alone a lot too despite enjoying my own company (it’s the Taurus energy I think), I cried right along with her. (10/10)
Cry Your Heart Out: This song has so much groove to it. The entire time listening I was just nodding my head. Adele goes up an octave in the first few words of every line of the pre-chorus and it just keeps the song moving. The lyrics of the chorus give us some insight into Adele’s thoughts on her heartbreak “Cry your heart out/ It’ll clean your face/ When you’re in doubt/ Go at your own pace,” She is permitting herself to cry about her situation. The lyrics of the verses are quite heartbreaking if you take away the groove from the performance. There is so much guilt in the words and that same guilt permeates the entire LP. (8/10)
Oh My God: Oh My God. Oh my God. If the last song was grooving, this song takes that and ramps it up to 10. “Cry Your Heart Out” was an excellent track to put before “Oh My God.” It perfectly primes the audience for a song that sounds so foreign yet so Adele at the same time. The song tracks how Adele is completely spiraling but she is having fun while doing so. I adore this song and I can’t wait to hear it in a car. Like Adele said, “I am a grown woman and I do what I want to do,” and she shows that on this track. (10/10)
Can I Get It: Adele never ceases to remind us that she is a Beyoncé fan. This track is so reminiscent of Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons” sonically that I immediately knew Adele has been streaming Lemonade. From the whistling to the guitar and the horns, Adele is in new territory. I need to grab my cowboys boots and hit the dance floor. I adore this song. In the actual lyrics of the song, Adele is begging somebody to give her their heart and their time. She needs them to “put [her] back together,” Is this the healthiest statement? Probably not but I’m having a good time. (8/10)
I Drink Wine: When I first heard this song I went, “Oh I am too young for this song”. “I Drink Wine” is the kind of song you must listen to with a glass of wine in your hand, with all the lights off. In the song, Adele is attempting to convince herself to get over herself and love herself for who she is. She wonders why she is “obsessing” over things out of her control. She is struggling with her control issues. She also is searching for something real and substantiative. Real big adult themes. It is also a big adult length, clocking in at 6 minutes and 16 seconds. And it needs every bit of that length. (8/10)
All Night Parking: The shortest song on the entire album. All Night Parking does not even reach 3 minutes. And boy do I wish it was longer. Adele seemingly channels Amy Winehouse on this track. The song tracks Adele’s attraction to a new person. This person reminds her of her home, and she panics because of how much she knows she might get lost in him. I am obsessed with the vibes of this song. It feels so vintage. (I’m so cold too, Adele) (10/10)
Woman Like Me: The long songs are back with “Woman Like Me”. In this track Adele asserts herself. She is probably the best woman this man would have ever had. She also mentions that her power probably made him insecure and feel tiny. She even calls him lazy. It is probably the meanest track on the album if it could be considered mean at all. Adele was feeling herself when she sat down and wrote this track (as she should). (7/10)
Hold On: I can only describe hold on as a gentle track. Adele is reminding herself to be strong. It is a gorgeous song about being patient for love and waiting for it to come to you. Allowing yourself to feel your pain and any other emotions that flow through you. My only issue with it is that I did check out a bit HOWEVER I know that when I need to find a way to give myself love and grace and remember to have patience with myself, this song will be there. (6/10)
To Be Loved: This song is perfectly placed after “Hold On.” It is once again a long gentle song. After hearing Adele sing about having patience, we have “To Be Loved” showing us, Adele, learning this lesson. Adele is going through it on this track. She is scared and lonely and terrified to lose all that she has. But she also reassures herself that she can catch herself. “Ain’t it funny how-to might fall” The listener cannot be sure who truly is the ‘mighty’ she is referring to her husband or herself? This song feels like growing. She is choosing to make sacrifices that she knows causes pain because if she wanted to be loved, this was not the environment for her. The ending of the song is sung with so much guttural pain in her voice. She was singing from somewhere deep in her soul on this one. The ending of the song drives home the growth she is going through. It is insanely beautiful. (9/10)
Love Is A Game: I let out a deep sigh when getting to this track. Adele has just dragged me screaming through her emotions. In many ways, this song feels like Adele is letting out a deep breath as well. The classic, almost Etta James-Esque, production of Love is a Game is so fitting. She laments that Love is a game for fools and it is cruel to inflict on oneself. The song feels like a climatic uphill climb, that the entire album has been building up to as well. “Heartbreak is inevitable,” Adele reminds us. She states the things that she has learned from this entire experience she has taken us. As a closing track, it just works so well. Despite how she keeps saying how cruel love is, there is also a kind of hope that we are left with. We all just want Adele to be happy and have her happiness. If I had any complaint, it would be I wish that at the end she had gone all-in with the choir, but I am just nitpicking. (8/10)
If being a Taurus were an album it would be this one (As a Taurus I am the authority on this). On an Instagram live chat when asked what her album is about Adele stated simply “Divorce babe, Divorce” While this is true, and it is a through-line in the entire album, I think the album is more about growing up. The public has always regarded Adele as an old soul, even from her debut, but what do we get when an Old Soul is forced to grow up? 30 is the answer to that question. There is pain and love and fun throughout this entire album. This is a grown woman album, with all the growing pains that entails. It is an album that is best enjoyed with a bottle of wine and a record player. It will hit more the more we all grow and learn and mature. I can’t wait till I drink wine too. I have no idea where Adele is going to take us next, but I am so excited about the journey.
Favorite Songs: My Little Love, Oh My God, All Night Parking, Can I Get It, I Drink Wine, To Be Loved
Favorite Lyric “sometimes the road less traveled/ is the road best left behind”
Stream 30 wherever you find music. You can find more of my thoughts on Music @Exquisitewill on Twitter.