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Adele’s '30' isn’t for everyone and that’s fine

Adele. Picture: Twitter

Adele. Picture: Twitter

Published Nov 26, 2021


Hurricane Adele is here and it’s been a joy having real music in our ears for the first time in a while when it comes to popular music.

The“ Rolling In The Deep” hitmaker is an anomaly as an artist, since she will drop an album, do interviews, give live performances, go on a brief tour and then disappear until it’s time for her to be in music mode again.

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Her most recently roll-out has been one of the best traditional promotional runs for “30” in an age where many artists don’t do them anymore.

In the streaming and social media age, artists will tease a song and only drop it many months later, and then when that fizzles out, drop single after single to see what sticks, and then announce an album with a week lead time to release.

Or they try to pull a Beyoncé and do a surprise release, which usually only creates hype for that first weekend then we all move on.

For the longest time, it seemed that this is just the “new norm”, and that the days of any form of a traditional album roll-out were behind us.

Adele proved that not only it is possible, but it might be necessary – not only to reach the largest audience, but to give more details around a project before we get to consume it.

And listening to the Hold On singer giving more background about the album in interviews and in her sit-down conversation is Oprah during her One Night Only TV special, made the experience of listening to the album more enjoyable.

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However, as with all major music releases, Twitter users wanted to dissect the album after one day of release, with some people declaring it isn’t her best album, while others said it just didn’t resonate with them.

Music consumers, especially the Gen Z/ younger millennial crowd, have become so accustomed to treating all music like a McDonald’s meal, that enjoying an album like a four-course meal seems a foreign concept. And a weekend is far too little time to adequately analyse the topics Adele tackles on this album.

On “30” she looks at divorce, explaining it to a young child, taking an introspective look at your relationship and doing the work on yourself before heading into a new situation.

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These aren’t easy things to sing about, and yet she’s able to package them in a digestible way and make it so that with every listen, you discover something in the music about her story and yourself in the process. This very much has to do with the type of music Adele makes.

In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Adele shared that TikTok was brought up during the making of the record, and whether she should make songs that appeal to teenagers, who dominate the video-sharing app.

She responded that if everyone is making music for the TikTok generation, who is making music for her peers? In this case, millennials who have/are going through things that are deeper than can be articulated in a two-minutes and 30-second song about shaking *ss.

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She said she wanted to give millennials music they could identify with, especially about taking care of their mental health.

This explains why many of the people who aren’t connecting to this album fall in the younger end of the age spectrum and still have to experience a bit of life more to truly appreciate what Adele has given us with “30”.

With regards to where this album will rank among her other albums, it’s still too soon to say, since Adele has gone into new territories not only sonically, but with her vocal performance.

Adele has always been a great vocalist and songwriter, but she stretched herself even further this time. And while the things we love most about her projects are still present, there’s a level of storytelling in 30 that she hasn’t given to us previously.

Yeah, you can still listen to the songs on their own, but when you listen to them within the context of the album there are things that you might miss when they are heard in isolation.

“To Be Loved” is a great example. Adele dropped a video of her just singing the song in what appears to be her LA home, and on its own it’s a heartbreaking song. In the context of the album, the gut-punch of emotion just hits differently.

There is a level of emotional maturity and self-awareness you need to have to truly get what Adele has done with “30”.

And it wasn’t meant to be everyone’s cup of tea, especially not those that thought we were just going to get a part two of “25”.

But for those this album resonates with, it’s a gift in an age when we don’t get emotionally charged, vocally sound, well-written music anymore.

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