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Adele – 30 [Album]

“Right then, I’m ready,” Adele says quietly at the close of 30’s opening track, “Strangers By Nature”. It feels like a moment of gentle—but firm—self-encouragement. This album is something that clearly required a few deep breaths for Tottenham’s most celebrated export. “There were moments when I was writing these songs, and even when I was mixing them and stuff like that, where I was like, ‘Maybe I don’t need to put this album out,’” she tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “Like, ‘Maybe I should write another.’ Just because music is my therapy. I’m never going into the studio to be like, ‘Right, I need another hit.’ It’s not like that for me. When something is more powerful and overwhelming [to] me, I like to go to a studio, because it’s normally a basement and there’s no fucking windows and no reception, so no one can get ahold of me. So I’m basically running away. And no one would’ve known I’d written that record. Maybe I just had to get it out of my system.”


But, almost two years after much of it was completed, Adele did release 30. And remarkably, considering the world has been using her back catalogue to channel its rawest emotions since 2008, this is easily Adele’s most vulnerable record. It concerns itself with Big Things Only—crippling guilt over her 2019 divorce, motherhood, daring to date as one of the world’s most famous people, falling in love—capturing perfectly the wobbly resolve of a broken heart in repair. Its songs often feel sentimental in a way that’s unusually warm and inviting, very California, and crucially: earned. “The album is for my son, for Angelo,” she says. “I knew I had to tell his story in a song because it was very clear he was feeling it, even though I thought I was doing a very good job of being like, ‘Everything’s fine.’ But I also knew I wasn’t being as present. I was just so consumed by so many different feelings. And he plucked up the courage to very articulately say to me, ‘You’re basically a ghost. You might as well not be here.’ What kind of poet is that? For him to be little and say ‘I can’t see you’ to my face broke my heart.”






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