30 (Adele) Review


The cover to Adele’s new full-length LP 30. (©Columbia Records)

Brian Dyer, Reporter

     Recently, Adele has released her fourth album 30, 6 years after her previous project 25, which became the best-selling album of 2015. But can this new record live up to the same level of endless praise that her previous projects had made? Time to find out.

     I’ll begin by stating what the inspiration behind the album was. 30 was mostly inspired by Adele’s divorce with Simon Konecki. The record describes her journey of anxiety and self-healing following the separation.

    The lyrics on the LP of course reflect these themes, and are very cathartic and impactful. On the song “I Drink Wine”, for instance, Adele sings “How can one become so bounded by choices that somebody else makes? How come we’ve both become a version of a person we don’t even like?” Here she rhetorically questions her previous relationship with Konecki.

     Adele’s vocal style on 30 is not too different from that of 25 or 21. She still has strong and emotional singing performances on each song. The instrumentation for tracks, though, can be a bit strange at times. Of course piano is featured on each track, some tracks featuring it more prominently than others, but sometimes the overall amalgamation of instrumentation is odd on songs.

     For instance, on “Cry Your Heart Out”, the percussion has a reggae beat, and is combined with backing vocals that sound like they’re from the 50s or 60s, the rich piano, and soul-inspired lead vocal performance. This strange combination makes the track seem unorganized whenever I’m listening to it, which I know was most likely Adele’s intention when creating the track.

     But there are plenty of good songs to make up for that. “Easy On Me”, which was released as a single prior to the album’s release, is a great song with a good lyrical and melodic hook. Although I don’t think it’s at the same level as some prior Adele singles like “Rolling in the Deep”, “Hello”, or “Someone Like You”, it is still a great song.

     “I Drink Wine” is also great with both its lead and supporting vocals performance, as well as it’s emotionally-moving lyrics. “Oh My God” is a gripping, impactful song that stands out to me on the LP. “Love Is A Game” is another dynamic piece that works well as an emotional finale to the record. My only problem is that it goes on a bit too long with a runtime of over six minutes.

     Overall, 30 is another excellent project on Adele’s behalf, and a good successor to 25. It is worth your time if you’re feeling particularly moody on a given day. It’s an incredible LP to begin the 2020s with.