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by Adele

Released November 19, 2021 via Columbia Records

Reviewed November 29, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Easy On Me (55%), To Be Loved (38%), Strangers By Nature (35%)

After six long years, the UK’s sultry songstress is back with her most innovative and dynamic album, 30. This winter wonderland of sadness, because it is a Christmas album, is laden in vocal stacks and compositions that clearly draw from Black American genres. Adele’s use of cadence in this album draws selective detail to her lyrics that make it all the more powerful. Though this is technically her divorce album, this project feels much more like the process of self-discovery after the divorce. While she does nod to the divorce in “Woman Like Me,” Adele centers the aftermath and the process of non-linear healing she’s going through, while also juggling motherhood. Adele has always channeled seasons well and this season of growth, regression and triumph led to arguably her best and most daring project to date. – Pablo (9.5/10)

Adele always tells a beautiful tale, and whether that beauty is seen through the light of her struggles or her virtues, it always builds a vivid image in her likeness. Each Adele album––19, 21, 25, 30––has branded an artistic stamp on every era of her adult life to this point. Each release from the UK songstress has precipitated increasingly longer hiatuses to follow, making the pretense and desire for her albums grow louder every time. Thankfully, Adele delivers, and captures yet another sonic picture of her life in alluring fashion with 30. The singer is experiencing a major life reset following a divorce and a worldwide pandemic—metabolizing these experiences into her singing, song selection, and songwriting overall. Her weighty voice continues to contour its sheer power into an emotionally vibrant instrument that describes how she feels. With motherhood and a failed marriage in her mind’s eye, a genuine sense of growth and insight fills the listener’s open ears with verifiably human songwriting. While 30 may not be the crown jewel of her discography, it features elements that would be impossible to create in any of Adele’s previous records, making it a very worthy addition to the series in the end. – DeVán (8.5/10)

Adele’s 30 rides in on a cascade of mourning strings and aching harmonies, but quickly pivots into more contemporary territories than her previous three albums. She sounds lighter here––less fixed in her ways––as she recounts the decline of her marriage, a divorce, and the type of love you can only discover in raising a child, now that the world is no longer just her own. With winking nods to her previous endeavors, 30 adequately marries Adele’s roots to the capacity she found within herself while living through tough times. And for that, I really am grateful. Once again, Ms. Atkins manages to hold the world captive with raw emotion. Albeit this time around, we’re treated like old friends pulled into something more intimate and sophisticated by the presence of both restraint and wisdom. – Henny (8/10)

Pablo: 9.5/10 | Victoria: 9.2/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8/10 | Henny: 8/10

Alan: 7.9/10 | Pax: 7.9/10 | Ben (Synth): 7/10 | Cam: 7/10

Hadley: 6/10 | Peter: 6/10 | Jared: 5.5/10


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