Grammy award-winning artist Adele released her fourth studio album 30 on Friday, November 19th, her first project in 6 years. Adele fans everywhere are rejoicing. The album features her already released single “Easy On Me” and songs that were initially heard at her performance during her CBS special Adele One Night Only. The album marks a pivotal turning point in her life—“divorce, babes, divorce”—and is dedicated to her son Angelo.
Reuniting with Adele is like catching up with an old friend. Or going to an intense talk therapy session where you’re not exactly sure who is playing the role of the therapist. The point is, it’s beyond cathartic. I didn’t think Adele could outdo herself, but after only my first run-through of 30, I quickly realized this might be her best album yet.
It’s hard to say what exactly makes 30 such a masterpiece, the dreamy production sounds flawless but it was the details that blew me away. It could be the voice notes—explaining to her son the decisions behind choosing divorce—that she says were inspired by listening to Tyler, the Creator and Skepta. Or that she doesn’t shy away from making the first line on her album “I’ll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart,” pulling you in immediately. Or that it begins more upbeat than you would expect and slowly transcends into heart-wrenching ballads. It’s likely a combination of hundreds of these meticulous choices.
Ultimately, 30 takes you on a journey of reckoning complex emotions and rediscovering yourself and it’s difficult to not resonate so deeply at some point in the album. Whether it’s during “Woman Like Me” where she finds herself most enraged and malicious or in “Hold On” once her anger has unraveled her and she finds peace after loneliness. It’s the overall collection of vulnerable moments perfectly folded into one raw and profound package with undeniably powerful vocals, leaving you wondering how it’s possible for one woman to make you feel so seen. That is the beauty of Adele’s 30. It’s an authentic and unifying pure reflection of the human condition that I think anyone can relate to, even though we maybe wish we didn’t.