Adele released her newest album, “30” Nov. 19. This release is the first full album audiences have heard from Adele since her 2015 album “25.” After debuting in 2008 with “19,” Adele has established herself as an internationally recognized musical superstar, selling over 100 million albums worldwide and winning 15 Grammys. 

Adele is known for delivering beautiful ballads on the difficulties of love and relationships — the highlights of her career being “Someone Like You,” “Chasing Pavements” and “When We Were Young.” She has been able to excellently evolve her sound and narrative throughout her subsequent albums.  

The time between “25” and “30” has given her ample material for the album. On “30” she discusses falling out of love with her husband, Simon Konecki, her relationship with her son Angelo and learning to love herself. While many artists may have faltered in telling the story of a traumatic period in their lives, Adele masterfully informs listeners of the last few years of her life. 

The first single released for the album was “Easy on Me,” in which she begins explaining to her son why his parents separated. Utilizing an alluring piano accompaniment, Adele pushes the boundaries of her vocal range to deliver this wonderful song. The writing behind “Easy on Me” is also excellent —  the chorus saying, “Go easy on me, baby. I was still a child / Didn’t get the chance to feel the world around me / I had no time to choose what I chose to do.” 

Adele has stated in many interviews that this album is a direct love letter to her son. The purpose of the album is to help explain why she separated from Angelo’s father. Realizing she did not love herself while she was married to Konecki made her incapable of loving him. The complicated nature of the matter is difficult to explain to a 9-year-old, but hopefully he can listen to the album in the future to better understand what his parents went through. 

The song that is most related to her son is “My Little Love,” and it is one of the highlights of the album. Adele uses her sultry voice to give listeners more insight into the relationship between her and her son, but also to give her son more insight into his mother’s perspective. We hear recordings of Angelo saying “I feel like you don’t love me” and “Do you like me?” to his mother. Later we hear Adele saying “I’m having a bad day … Um, I have a hangover, which never helps, but I feel like today is the first day since I left [Konecki] that I feel lonely.”

Often in music we listen to stories of the relationship between mothers and sons, but more often we hear from sons speaking about their mothers. So, it is interesting to get the opportunity to understand the perspective of a mother — especially when she is in the middle of a very public divorce. This song and others like it are what makes the album such a great piece of art. Seeing Adele truly revel in the depths of her emotions is beautiful. 

As mentioned earlier, throughout her career Adele has done an amazing job at advancing her narrative throughout her albums. “19” focuses on young love falling apart, “21” focuses on dealing with the heartbreak of young love and then eventually meeting your one true love and “25” focuses on cherishing that true love and hope for the future. “30” continues the storyline of Adele’s love life by looking in-depth into when true love falls apart and how that changes your life. “To Be Loved” and “Love Is a Game” are fitting examples of this theme. 

On “To Be Loved,” listeners are transported into Adele’s mind. The audience gets the opportunity to better understand the reason why she separated from her husband. We understand that for a period in Adele’s life, she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness to receive love from her husband and to portray a happy image of her family to the world. Now, Adele realizes this impulse is not healthy and recognizes the importance of prioritizing herself over others. 

With the album’s excellent closer, “Love Is a Game,” audiences are pulled in with dream-like instrumentation performed by a skilled orchestra. The message of the song is that Adele has made mistakes in the past — and she admits that she is bound to make them again — but this is okay because we are all human. On an album that often focuses on sadness, it is important to have this hopeful sentiment to end the album, as it helps listeners realize it is okay to make mistakes in love and relationships. Even the biggest stars of the world mess up — that is just the way life is. 

In this album listeners can not only better understand what happened between Adele and her husband, but they can also understand Adele’s relationship with her son and how she learned to love herself to improve her future relationships. Listeners also get to hear phenomenal instrumentation and Adele’s famous, angelic vocals. Not every track is great — most listeners can skip “Cry Your Heart Out” and “Oh My God.” However, the rest of the tracks are outstanding and definitely worth a listen. 

Source Google News – Read the original article

Adele excels at guiding listeners through heartbreak and hope – University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily
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