Released: November 19, 2021
Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 11 AU
Sales (in millions): 0.69 US, 0.26 UK, 0.95 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: blue-eyed soul
Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs by Adele with other songwriters.
Total Running Time: 58:15
4.203 out of 5.00 (average of 18 ratings)
Quotable: Her “toughest, most powerful album yet.” – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
About the Album:
Adele’s fourth album deals with her separation from Simon Konecki (who she divorced in January 2021) as well as motherhood and fame. It has been described as “a pop, jazz, and soul album focusing on romantic but melancholic themes of heartache, acceptance, and hope.” WK
Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield called 30 Adele’s “toughest, most powerful album yet.” WK Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph agreed that it was her strongest record yet. WK Variety said it is “her emotionally rawest, riskiest and best record.” VY The Guardian called it a “self-flagellating powerhouse of an album.” GU “This is a classy album, if not quite a stone-cold classic.” GU
Her “emotions are fathoms-deep and mountain high.” GU Adele “ugly-cries, then wipes off her streaked makeup,” GU spilling forth “enough wrenching, life-and-death drama to leave you completely spent by the time the hour is up.” VY Because she was “denied a happily-ever-after nuclear family as a child, she wanted for her son” GU so her failed marriage caused her anxiety and guilt. She said the intent of the album was to explain things to her son, Angelo. GU
As usual, Adele’s “vocal reach extends to the bits of stadiums only the pigeons and crane operators know.” GU “What’s new here is the…rawness of her feelings and how plaintive Adele’s pleas become for mitigating factors to be taken into account.” GU “Stymied by the notion that big emotions need inflation, 30 overreaches for the rafters a little too often.” GU
This won’t be her biggest-selling album, nor does it have “a string of obvious world-conquering singles…although it has a good enough handful of un-obvious ones. But there’s a bracing maturity in these 12 tracks that’s more emotionally complex and intriguing than the rather more easy-to-follow woe of the preceding three collections.” VY
She wrote the songs between 2018 and 2021, working with producers Greg Kurstin, Tobias Jesso Jr., Max Martin, and Shellback. All of them previously worked on her 2015 album 25. New to the fold is Dean Josiah “Inflo” Cover, who has worked with his own group Sault as well as Michael Kiwanuka and Little Simz. GU In February 2020, she announced that it would be out by that September, but the release was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. WK As for the name 30, it refers to Adele’s age when she wrote most of the songs, VY not her age upon the album’s release (33).
Charts and Sales
In the United States, all 12 songs from the album charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the album’s debut week. While other albums have accomplished this feat, it is the first time for Adele. She laneded the biggest sales week of the year in the United States as well with 692,000. BB
“Easy on Me”
“Strangers by Nature”
“Cry Your Heart Out” and “Oh My God”
“Can I Get It”
“I Drink Wine”
“Woman Like Me”
“To Be Loved”
“All Night Parking”
“Love Is a Game”
Notes: The Target deluxe edition added bonus tracks “Wild Wild West,” “Can’t Be Together,” and a duet of “Easy on Me” with Chris Stapleton.
Resources and Related Links:
Other Related DMDB Pages:
First posted 11/22/2021; last updated 11/30/2021.