Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Adele Is Triumphantly Inventive On ’30’

With her latest body of work, Adele took more risks than ever, and there’s a sonical newness to her ballads. However, Adele also knows what she does best, and those who have been mentally preparing for the usual devastation that comes with Adele’s ballads will be glad to know she bared her soul more than ever on 30. That being said, the songs are completely different from anything fans have heard before, so listen with an open ear.

It just so happens that Adele’s latest record coincided with the (very public) unraveling of her marriage, so it’s arguably her most personal record to date. With 15 tracks in total, there was plenty of room for her well-known sad serenades, but Adele also let fans in on a new chapter of her life — one of growth. The songstress explored themes of motherhood, rebirth, and even, new romance.

The album’s opener, “Strangers by Nature,” served as the perfect intro track for one important reason. The song starts with Adele taking flowers “to the cemetery” of her heart and recognizes to be reborn, one must experience an emotional death first. The song’s vocals are hopeful in character,  but it is followed up by “Easy On Me,” a much more traditional-sounding ballad that is more somber in tone. It’s in these contrasting moments that Adele finds balance on the record.

“Cry Your Heart Out” is an upbeat number that boasts a tempo worth dancing to, although the lyrics say otherwise. Again, Adele thrives in contrast on 30. It is on this number that Adele flirts with the idea of turning 30 into a jazz record, as she did with “My Little Love.” She also used the song to show her most vulnerable side yet, and included private recordings between herself and 9-year-old son, Angelo.

But Adele was quick not to box herself into one genre or theme with this record. For example, she kicked heartbreak to the curb with “Oh My God,” where she crooned about dipping her toes back into the dating pool. The singer also injected a message for critics into one verse. “I don’t have to explain myself to you //I am a grown woman and I do what I want to do,” she adamantly sings. Given the endless headlines surrounding her budding romance with Rich Paul, it’s an understandable stance.

Fans should have their tissues ready for “I Drink Wine,” one of the more honest heart-wrenching songs to appear on the record. While Adele seems to have accepted her divorce with this song, she also admits timing was not on their side, hinting at a sliver of regret. “Woman Like Me” takes a slightly different tone — a sad and haunting final plea to make things work. The eventual public downfall of her marriage makes the song all the sadder.

The album’s three bonus tracks are not to be missed, particularly “Easy on Me,” ft. Chris Stapleton. Stapleton’s voice adds a much welcomed layer of texture to her chart-topping single. All in all, Adele’s record paints a picture of a woman burned, and the journey towards rebuilding her life on scorched terrain. It is an ambitious album at its core, with many moments of greatness as she searches for solid footing with her post-divorce body of work. However, those hoping to hear the same devastation Adele brought to her earliest heartbreak tracks, such as 2011’s “Someone Like You,” will be disappointed. Ultimately, it’s not an album to cry to, but to find strength in. On Adele’s 30, the dust has settled, a quiet acceptance has set in, and she’s ready to embrace a brand new chapter.

Words by Brandy Baye

Posted On 4 October, 2022