After a six-year wait, Adele has released her fourth studio album, “30,” a collection of songs that explore her recent divorce, entering her thirties and the emotions she’s been feeling since her last release. The album is about depression, new romances, rebirth and her relationship with her son.
The album’s lead single, “Easy On Me,” released in October, features Adele singing about her tumultuous childhood, her marriage and the lessons she’s learned and unlearned about family and love along the way. “Easy On Me” sets up the rest of the album in that it’s classic Adele: the emotional connection it creates, as well as its piano chords and breathy vocals, allows vulnerability to easily shine through.
“My Little Love” is the perfect example of this. Deeply vulnerable, it includes conversations between Adele and her son, as well as a monologue in which she describes her feelings of late. In the song, Adele carefully balances being truthful in front of her child while still maintaining his innocence by being careful about how she answers his questions about her divorce. Lyrics like, “I wanted you to have everything I never had / I’m so sorry if what I’ve done makes you feel sad,” show this balance, and how Adele has faced this new life transition with her son.
Stand-out track “I Drink Wine” explores the inner monologue one has when trying to decide how much you’re willing to give of yourself to a relationship. She asks herself tough questions like, “How can one become so bounded by choices that somebody else makes?” and “Why am I obsessin’ about the things I can’t control?” while simultaneously realizing there might be no right answer.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Adele described the song as being about shedding one’s ego. She shared, “I took everything so personally at that period of time in my life, so the lyric ‘I hope I learn to get over myself’ is like [me saying], ‘Once I’ve done that, then maybe I can let you love me.’”
Overall, the album’s raw emotional tone speaks to audiences in the way that Adele is known for. Her ability to display and reflect on her desires and remorse, past and present, in a confessional-style format makes her songs relatable and classic in their own sense.
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