Adele’s “30” best album yet


Christian Larson, Reporter

The six-year wait for the highly anticipated follow-up to 2015’s 25 was absolutely worth it.

Known for her big voice and piano driven ballads, British songstress Adele may be one of the greatest talents to come out of pop music this century. With only four studio albums, Adele is one of the world’s best-selling artists, with sales of over 120 million records. Dating all the way back to her debut album, 2008’s “19, the singer has captivated audiences worldwide with songs of heartbreak, failed relationships and nostalgia.

Now, the long awaited and anticipated “30” has arrived. In its 12 songs, Adele dives into what might have been the hardest six years of her life: raising a young child as well as getting married and divorced. During the album’s hour run time, Adele takes listeners on her most intimate and vulnerable experience yet.

The album opens up with the Judy Garland inspired “Strangers By Nature,’’ which reflects on her and her ex-husband coming to the realization that they’re more different than what they initially thought, as it lead to their marriage being terminated. With the album’s tone set, Adele immediately goes into the piano driven lead single “Easy On Me,” which has already become another classic in her discography. “My Little Love,” “Cry Your Heart Out,” “Oh My God” and “Can I Get It” complete the first half of the album which contains the most safe-sounding and radio-friendly songs that are sure to be instant favorites among the average listeners.

The second half of “30” sees Adele returning to the more pop-soul and retro-jazz sounds from “19” and “21,” showcasing her unique voice on each track. On the almost seven-minute gospel leaning track, “Hold On,” Adele sings about feeling lost and tired while preaching something her closest friends tell her every time they’re together—“just hold on” (her close friends can be heard at the end of the song in a choir). The song produces some of the most chill-inducing moments on the project. 

Speaking of chill-inducing moments, the next song, “To Be Loved,” is a career highlight for Adele, and in my opinion ranks among her top five best songs to date. Much like 2011’s “Someone Like You,” this heart-wrenching, confessional piano-and-vocal-only ballad finds the singer making the sacrifice needed for love. Her vocals echo as if she’s singing in an empty arena. 

“I’ll do it all again,” the 33-year-old shouts at the end of the final track, ‘Love Is A Game,” once again getting out of her comfort zone to deliver the most ambitious and musically adventurous album of her career thus far.