Adele’s somber return


Photo provided by: Annaliese Long

“30” debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, with 839,000 copies sold in its first week. 692,000 of those copies were derived from non-streaming purchases. This makes “30” the most commercially successful album of 2021 so far.

Annaliese Long, Staff Reporter

Since the release of her third studio album, “25”, there was much mystery about when the arrival of Adele’s next project would be. A hefty six years later, the world was finally able to listen to “30. Dropped on Friday, Nov. 19, the album explores themes of motherhood, separation, resilience and anxiety.

Her previous three albums all stayed within genres such as blue-eyed soul and jazz-pop, typically with a couple powerful piano ballads thrown into each tracklist. Distinctive from her previous work, “30 follows a soul-pop infused sound.  

Though it has been out for such a short time, “30” has already become the best-selling album in the country for 2021. This is no shock, seeing as Adele has always had an astounding impact on album sales. However, I do not know if I can say that the actual quality of the album matches the amount of success it has had.

The album starts and ends on a strong note, but there are a lot of lackluster songs to be found in the middle of the tracklist. Highlight songs include the opener, “Strangers by nature”, which is a sweet, mystical introduction to the album, and the tormented “My little love”, which features stunning gospel vocals and balances stressed lyrics with a peaceful, serene sound. Another standout track is “Cry your heart out”, a jaunty, charming song that provides the listener with a rare moment of happiness in the album. The vocals on the hook sort of remind me of “The Christmas Song” from Alvin and the Chipmunks, but I actually find it to be quite enjoyable.

Unfortunately, aside from those strong moments on the album, I find the majority of the songs on “30” to be a little predictable and repetitive. For an album filled with mournful laments over piano instrumentals, not one of them compares to the heartbroken glory of previous Adele piano ballads like “Someone like you” and “When we were young”. Even more experimental tracks found within the record, such as track 6, “Can I get it”, feel out of place for Adele’s voice.

While I can see why some people could love this album – as it is very emotional and deals with mature problems – I simply am not a huge fan. It is a decent album, but as a whole it just does not have the mesmerizing qualities of its predecessors.