Adele 30 album review: Heartbreak queen makes raw pain sound oddly magnificent

by 24britishtvNov. 19, 2021, 1 p.m. 20
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We’ve experienced the single and heartbroken version of Adele but, a divorced mother-of-one? She’s untouchable.

The queen of break-up ballads takes pain to a whole new level with her fourth album 30, which has been six years in the making and, my god, absolutely worth the wait. With the sheer honesty of her divorce journey, 30 is undoubtedly her magnum opus. It’s a bold statement given the enormity of the success of 21 and 25 particularly but, 30 presents Adele as the most personal we’ve seen her yet – if that was even possible.

We’ve all wondered about Adele’s marriage to Simon Konecki over the years and even more about their split and subsequent divorce. Why did they separate? How did Adele cope? What effect did it have on their son Angelo?

All of this is answered on 30 and Adele leaves no stone unturned, going full-throttle and giving us glimpses of the most personal interactions with Angelo, now aged nine, as well as her own lowest points.

My Little Love is a bittersweet moment on the album; seeped in stunningly soulful and overpowering melodies but, by the end, you’re left almost uncomfortable after hearing a young and naive Angelo question why his tearful mum is feeling so lost. Not many stars of Adele’s magnitude would feel comfortable sharing such a private exchange but without it would be an injustice to her vulnerable artistry.

One of Adele’s defining qualities is her ability to achieve all the success one can in the world yet still seem human, like someone you can have a good gossip with over a coffee or cocktail. On 30, it doesn’t get much more real than her crying while admitting she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing in life. Adele makes it OK to feel like it’s not OK.

What’s even better is that this reality is presented in a way that doesn’t always have you crying on the floor clutching onto a pillow. One of the presumptions going into 30 is that it would be filled with predictable Someone Like You-esque ballads with very little creative growth. Especially when her third album 25, albeit stunning, wasn’t much of a departure from 21.

Leading with Easy On Me, a safe and gentle first single, nearly proved the presumption right. However, 30 is arguably Adele’s riskiest album yet boasting an amalgamation of genres effortlessly fitting into her familiar mould.

Cry Your Heart Out is a welcome break after the intensity of My Little Love and, ironically despite what the title suggests, is an upbeat and refreshing take on allowing your emotions to consume you before reaching the silver lining.

Oh My God is a punchy anthem that’s commanding enough to soundtrack a TV advert, while Can I Get It goes head first into country music with its stomping guitar-led beat, and All Night Parking offers a gorgeous and delicate throwback to the glamorous days of Etta James.

Therefore by the time you reach the end of 30, you’re craving the sheer power of Adele’s vocals that her ballads are known for. It seemed like the only thing missing was that one big, arresting Hello number – and then To Be Loved entered the chat. Her vocals isolated and riddled in pain, the minimalist ballad will go down as one of Adele’s most gut-wrenching, with its lengthy power notes cutting through the piano chords and your heart.

It really resonated when, at the end of her CBS concert special One Night With Adele, she announced the return of ‘real music’ and genuine artistry.

Well, 30 is absolutely it. There had been an Adele-shaped deficit in music over the past six years but 30 has magnificently filled the void.

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE : The relationships and breakups that inspired Adele’s past albums

MORE : Adele’s 30 branded her ‘best album yet’ as standout To Be Loved leaves fans in tears

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