In article about Adele's 30 album, an illustration of the artist herself.
Adele brings her signature sound and mature perspective to '30.' (Illustration by Amber Duan, Pratt Institute)

Adele’s ’30’ Is a Magical Listen That You Won’t Want To Miss

The beloved artist released a new record after a five-year wait, which comes complete with mature vocals and styles.

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In article about Adele's 30 album, an illustration of the artist herself.
Adele brings her signature sound and mature perspective to '30.' (Illustration by Amber Duan, Pratt Institute)

The beloved artist released a new record after a five-year wait, which comes complete with mature vocals and styles.

She is a vocal powerhouse and an artist that has been globally adored for years. She is the fourth most popular artist on Spotify. She is known for her heartbreak songs that are crushing, powerful and relatable. Adele is back and better than ever with her first album drop in five years. Titled “30,” Adele’s latest musical masterpiece is something you won’t want to miss.

The Best Parts of Adele’s ‘30’

For audiences listening to Adele’s new album on Spotify, the first thing that may stand out is the missing shuffle button. While the ability to shuffle is still available, Adele specifically requested that Spotify remove the button as the default listening option for “30.” She explained in a tweet that “we don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason … our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended.” Adele’s stance is revolutionary and inspiring. Playing “30” in the album’s predetermined order absolutely changes the listening experience — and for the better. Audiences are rightfully urged to hear the meticulous storytelling of Adele’s trials and tribulations in chronological order.

Adele’s musical story is made even more impactful by her dive into the raw emotions displayed in her 12 new songs. Part of the influence comes from Adele’s incorporation of audio clips that give listeners the chance to hear snippets of candid conversations and breakdowns from the artist’s life. This technique is best shown in the song “My Little Love,” where Adele expresses her relationship with her beloved daughter and includes audio of her discussing her feelings and breaking down from the weight of life. Many listeners can relate to such openness. This relatability and passion are part of the magic of Adele’s new album.

“30” also gives audiences the most classic aspects of Adele’s music, such as her heartbreaking lyrics and powerhouse vocals. However, Adele also improves upon her signature sound by adopting an elevated, mature style. Throughout “30,” listeners will experience a sort of jazzy, soothing vibe that seems to also have gospel and R&B inspirations with beautiful lo-fi beats. Such a sound is innovative and fresh for Adele. It complements the rawness of her audio clips and lyrics, making for an all-around immersive listening experience.

The jazzy, soothing nature of “30” is especially fitting for this time of the year; it’s the perfect album to curl up with on a rainy or snowy winter day. It’s also an ideal album to play during any small gatherings or large holiday get-togethers. After all, Adele is almost universally liked and respected. “30” will make a great conversation starter, sing-along or even just classy backdrop music.

As previously mentioned, a classic strong suit of Adele’s music is her lyrics, and that is no less true of “30,” which successfully conveys Adele’s personal life struggles that many people can relate to. In “Easy On Me” — the most popular song on the album — Adele sings candidly about how being human means making mistakes and how people should be given chances to grow and learn from their pasts.

Adele - Easy On Me (Official Video)

“My Little Love” is one of the more emotional and underrated songs of the album; Adele sings about her unconditional love for her daughter, as well as her own tumultuous journey through loneliness and the search for happiness. “Strangers by Nature” is one of the most magical songs of “30,” which is about lovers lost and relationships of the past. With such varying, passion-filled fulcrums, Adele creates an overall album experience that is extremely understandable and vulnerable.

Although it’s strongly recommended to listen to Adele’s entire album in order for the most immersive and comprehensive experience, it’s also understandable if some people prefer certain beats or songs. Luckily, each song on “30” varies greatly in speed, mood and style. If you’re someone looking for more upbeat, powerhouse songs that evoke some of Adele’s greatest hits — like “Rolling in the Deep” — try “Oh My God” and “Can I Get It.”

Currently with just under 15 million listens on Spotify, “Love Is a Game” is the least listened to song on “30” — but for the least popular song to still have that many listens is a true testament to Adele’s popularity. Despite being the “underdog” song, “Love Is a Game” is one of the most captivating listens. Fans get Adele’s powerhouse vocals and layered lyrics about the absurdity of this thing called love. On top of this, though, “Love Is a Game” is one of the songs that best showcases the gospel influences on “30.” This is primarily seen in the call-and-response between Adele’s starring voice and the choir in the background. Such a style is especially prominent in both this track as well as “Cry Your Heart Out.”

If anyone is looking for a quality simp session, try “My Little Love,” “I Drink Wine” or “Woman Like Me.” In all honesty, though, anyone struggling with mental health or loneliness will relate to any one of Adele’s 12 hits. While the three songs suggested above are certainly the most somber, lyrics across the board discuss heavy topics. For example, “Cry Your Heart Out” has one of the most upbeat tempos, yet the song is all about loneliness, struggling with self-identity and finding healthy ways to release emotion.

For listeners in a chill mood who want some suave, lo-fi beats, try “Strangers By Nature” or “All Night Parking.” Anyone searching for the more soulful, gospel-like hits can turn to “Cry Your Heart Out,” “Love Is A Game” or “Hold On.” “Hold On” in particular is another underrated song that is an excellently soulful listen: The sound perfectly marries with the message of the song, which is all about endurance and having patience with yourself during trying times.

As a whole, Adele’s “30” shows how it can be both beautiful and healing to openly depict such relatable human struggles through art. With this courageous vulnerability comes a resilience that persists throughout the album, and that’s what makes it perfect for such a wide audience, whether you’re someone looking for a simp session or something more upbeat. Whatever songs you choose to give a chance or whichever way you listen to the album, you will no doubt walk away with a soul-deep catharsis from this magical combination of raw heartbreaks and an enduring heart.

Writer Profile

Sonia Noorbakhsh

UC Berkeley

Hello! My name is Sonia. I have always loved anything pertaining to English. In my free time I enjoy traveling, reading and drinking plenty of coffee.

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