After going through a divorce, you might be expected to Adele wrote an album of heartbreaking ballads. But expecting a spectrum of emotions reduced in ’30’ would be unfair to the winning singer of the Grammy.
As one of the greatest voices of our time, it’s no wonder that some of Adele’s brilliant moments on the album are in songs simple enough that the strength of her voice stands out on its own. What is perhaps most surprising is the delight of songs that deviate from their usual style.
The first song on the album is unlike anything Adele has ever written before. ‘Strangers By Nature’ takes the listener to a black and white film from the era of Audrey hepburn playful and at times sinister. The album has a theatrical beginning and end that comes with ‘Love Is a Game’, which also mimics some of those dramatic tones. It’s a triumphant conclusion with harmonies in the chorus that nod to 1960s bands like The Supremes.
Between both there are songs of heartbreak and also love, for her son, for new loves (or at least those whom she would like to try to love) and for herself.
Adele expands on ’30’, delving into genres and tones that show his ability to deviate from popular shady songs like ‘Hello’ and ‘Someone Like You’. There’s the catchy pop song ‘Cry Your Heart Out’, the dance anthem ‘Oh My God’ and western tones to ‘Can I Get It’, a song so different from typical Adele that it’s reminiscent of Beyoncé’s ‘Daddy Lessons’. In ‘My Little Love’ and ‘All Night Parking’, Adele brings a little R&B.
While there are moments of happiness on the album, Adele’s experiential style of songwriting ensures that pain is also present in ’30’. ‘My Little Love’ is a poignant personal song that includes voice recordings of Adele comforting her young son and even crying as she describes her loneliness.
The pain is also tangible in ‘To Be Loved’. Its simple production works beautifully for Adele. There is nothing to lessen the emotion as your voice approaches the limit of crying.
The second half of LP It is much quieter than the first, full of ballads more typical of the British singer. ‘Woman Like Me’ shows your calm confidence; refers to feelings of guilt and uncertainty in ‘My Little Love’ and ‘I Drink Wine’, but in this one he reaffirms his own self-esteem.
Complacency is the worst trait you can have, are you crazy? ” sing in English.
You have never had, you have never had a woman like me ”.
If ’30’ is a snapshot of the person Adele is right now, it’s clear that the six years that have passed since ’25’ have led to growth and a more fulfilled version of herself. There are some reminiscences of her younger self, but with a renewed self-awareness.
All I do is bleed on someone else, ”he sings on ‘To Be Loved’.
“I’ll be the one who catches me this time. “