San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Review: Adele’s ’30’ packs new styles with the same heartbreak

Screenshot from Adele’s Instagram
Adele celebrating the release of her fourth studio album “30.”

Once again, the heartbroken, the taken, the singles and everyone in-between have united to listen to the much anticipated album “30” by Adele. 

Revealing the fact this is her most personal album in Vogue’s “73 Questions” interview, fans responded by posting humorous TikToks and memes, showing themselves preparing for the emotional rollercoaster Adele constructs in all of her albums. 

Fans deemed the occasion: “Sad Girl Autumn,” seeing Adele decided to release the album on Nov. 19, just a few days after Taylor Swift released “Red (Taylor’s Version).” 

With Sad Girl Autumn officially upon us, and 12 new songs from the British artist, it’s time to unpack the emotions Adele has been processing after her divorce. 

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Anyone who plays “30” expecting Adele to deliver a sound reminiscent of her previous three albums is probably a bit disappointed. However, those who are musically mature and support an artist’s exploration into different styles will embrace “30” with open arms. 

“30” is filled with various musical styles ranging from ‘70s inspired melodies to ‘90s R&B bridges and hooks. 

Aside from the album being musically diverse and new for Adele’s listeners, it offers fans different themes to relate to as a human navigating the lows of life, especially the game of love. 

Although “30” was prompted by the biggest heartbreak the singer has ever experienced, it led her to open up about depression, the hardships of being a mother and the reality of starting over — themes fans have been wanting a glimpse of. 

Opening with the whimsical, dark “Strangers By Nature” perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album. When Adele ends the song with the words “alright then, I’m ready,” she subtly prepares fans to venture into the cemetery of her heart. 

“Easy on Me,” “I Drink Wine,” “To Be Loved” and “Love is a Game” show a side of Adele we’re familiar with, portraying a story of a broken and failed relationship, but the songs “My Little Love,” “Cry Your Heart Out” and “Hold On” open a pandora’s box of emotions for both Adele and listeners. 

An unfamiliar feeling arises when listening to “My Little Love,” a song dedicated to Adele’s 9-year-old son Angelo. It makes sense for this song to tug at the heartstrings since it reveals the artist’s anchor through this depressing time in her life. The voice memos weaved throughout “My Little Love” add an extra layer of transparency to Adele’s story. 

Later in the album, listeners get a classy R&B diss track with “Woman Like Me,” an anthem fans never knew they needed until now.  

Alongside expressing her decision to leave her husband of three years and being in the trenches of depression, “Can I Get It,” “Oh My God” and “All Night Parking (with Erroll Garner) Interlude” see her making the effort to move forward and get back into the dating scene. 

In an interview with Apple Music, Adele shared how she never stayed single for long in between relationships after reaching fame, making dating in 2021 a completely new arena.

“I’ve never been this well known and been single… I was with someone most of ‘19’ and then I was in the studio, I wasn’t with anyone but in the studio writing about you know who that was about. Then straight after ‘21,’ I got with Simon… I never experienced… like dating as a grown-up, really.”

Hearing Adele sing the lyrics “I swear to God, I am such a mess / The harder that I try, I regress / I’m my own worst enemy / Right now, I truly hate bein’ me” was difficult to hear but exposed a feeling a lot of us can identify with. 

Each song on “30” was a work of art. “19,” “21” and “25” are beautiful in their own way, but “30” is by far Adele’s most heartfelt album —  with many tracks that will age into classics. 

About the Contributor
Aaliyah Alexander
Aaliyah Alexander, '21-22 Opinion Editor
Aaliyah Alexander is a junior studying journalism and international studies. 
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Review: Adele’s ’30’ packs new styles with the same heartbreak