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It’s been six years since her last record was released and the time out of the spotlight has paid off for Adele as her new album 30 has received rave reviews from critics.
The singer’s fourth album, inspired by her divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki was released to positive reception on Friday, despite some nothing that the topic of her divorce proved to be ‘all-consuming.’
On Metacritic, the record received a score of 89 out of 100, indicating ‘universal acclaim’ from reviewers.
Praise: It’s been six years since her last record was released and the time out of the spotlight has paid off for Adele as her new album 30 has received rave reviews from critics
The Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield proclaimed 30 to be Adele’s best album yet and said she has ‘never sounded more ferocious’.
He wrote: ‘You wouldn’t think it was possible, but her vocals have gotten even more expressive.
‘Adele’s voice is a tank division that can tap-dance—the more mature she gets as an artist, the more finesse and tact she brings to the microphone, without sacrificing any of the primal firepower that made her famous in the first place.
‘It’s all there in the single Easy On Me where she pauses mid-song to linger on the first note of ‘easy’ so long you feel like you might pass out, even though you can tell she isn’t breaking a sweat.’
Acclaim: The singer’s fourth album, inspired by her divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki was released to positive reception on Friday
The Independent awarded the album four stars and praised the songs as ‘handsomely crafted ballads’ and said it was Adele’s powerful voice that sells them.
Reviewer Annabel Nugent wrote: ‘It’s epic without resorting to showy, melismatic affectations. It yawns into unexpected shapes and makes intonation fun.
‘But there are many great vocalists out there who don’t attract the same mass adoration. There’s something else about Adele that makes her so endearing, something that preternatural vocal cords alone can’t explain.’
In a slightly more lukewarm review, The Guardian gave the record three stars and said the topic of divorce is ‘all-consuming’ and some listeners may wish she would give them a break from the ‘woe’.
However, they praised the singer for delivering an album that is different than her previous offerings.
Success: On Metacritic, the record received a score of 89 out of 100, indicating ‘universal acclaim’ from reviewers
Reviewer Alexis Petridis wrote: ‘Given their sales figures, you couldn’t blame Adele for declining to even tinker with a formula that clearly ain’t broke. But she does, and it makes for 30’s highlights.’
NME agreed that 30 is a change for the singer, saying the songs Easy On Me, To Be Loved and Hold On are the only ones that feel like ‘classic Adele’.
Writer El Hunt said: ‘This devastating level of honesty means that, despite its more experimental moments, 30 still winds up feeling like trademark Adele, in its own way, most of the time.
‘And after fair accusations of playing it safe musically in the past, it’s refreshing to see the pop titan treading braver territory – even if the hit-rate isn’t 100 per cent.
In a five-star review in The Daily Telegraph, critic Neil McCormick praised Adele for infusing the record with a sense of ‘life-affirming liberation’ despite the main theme being divorce.
Review: The Rolling Stone ‘s Rob Sheffield proclaimed 30 to be Adele’s best album yet and said she has ‘never sounded more ferocious’
The publication said her voice reaches its limit on the seven-minute long To Be Loved where she confesses some of her deepest worries.
They also said the album has a lot of positivity to offer listeners, writing: ‘There is plenty of spirited positivity amid the self-pity and self-flagellation, allied to melodies that will have Karaoke nights booming, delivered with Adele’s customary gusto and lit up by her sheer joy when singing.
‘The truth is, Adele actually sounds like she has had fun recording this album, particularly in the ways her free-roaming lead vocals interact with her own tightly arranged backing vocals.’
The reviews come after it was revealed that Adele’s upcoming album would include heartbreaking voice notes exchanged with Angelo.
In an emotional track, My Little Love, the singer includes audio recordings from conversations with her nine-year-old in which he attempts to stop her crying amid her 2019 divorce, which is the key subject of the record.
Record: In a five-star review in The Daily Telegraph , critic Neil McCormick praised Adele for infusing the record with a sense of ‘life-affirming liberation’
Adele – who shares Angelo with ex-husband Simon Konecki – sings: ‘I’m so sorry if what I’ve done makes you feel sad’.
In more heart wrenching notes she says ‘Tell me you love me’, to which Angelo replies, ‘I love you, one million per cent. I feel like you like me too.’
30: TRACK LIST
1. Strangers by Nature – The opening track is laden with funeral chords and sets the tone for the imminent heartache fans prepare to witness.
2. Easy on Me – The lead track from the album is already a classic on the album
3. My Little Love – The appearance of Angelo on this song makes it the most candid and details the intricacies of her pain.
4. Cry Your Heart Out – In a bid to avoid an excess of ballads, this track is wholly more upbeat.
5. Oh My God – A mid-tempo R&B number about the arrival of new love.
6. Can I Get It – The album’s Rolling In The Deep moment sees her team up with Swedish producer Max Martin and his sidekick Shellback.
7. I Drink Wine – Having a song centered around wine harks directly back to Adele’s recent chatter about her relationship with alcohol during the split and how she kicked booze to shed her ‘hangxiety’.
8. All Night Parking interlude (with Erroll Garner)
9. Woman Like Me – The most blatant references to Simon are made in the comments about ‘laziness and complacency’ here.
10. Hold On – This track has ‘Adele’s Crazy Friends’ listed as the choir and she told Oprah she could see the song being ‘a national anthem’
11. To Be Loved – Adele revealed this track is about her estranged father Mark Evans and the steps she has taken to allow herself to be loved despite his absence.
12. Love Is a Game – Adele ends on a high-note with the track where she sings ‘Love is a fame for fools to play and I ain’t fooling’
13. Wild Wild West
14. Can’t Be Together
15. Easy on Me (with Chris Stapleton)
Adele continues in the tearful voice notes: ‘You know Mummy doesn’t like anyone else like I like you, right? Mummy’s been having a lot of big feelings lately, I’m confused and I don’t know what I’m doing.’
In more voice notes to her son she says: ‘I love your dad because he gave you to me… I’ve had a bad day, I’m very anxious…
‘I feel very paranoid, stressed, and I’m hungover which never helps. I feel like today is the first day since I left him that I actually feel lonely — and I never do.
‘I just feel really lonely and frightened, and I’m worried I might feel like this a lot.’
In Woman Like Me meanwhile, she sung of Simon: ‘Complacency is the worst trait to have, are you crazy? It is so sad a man like you could be so lazy…
‘All you do is complain about decisions you make / How can I help lift you if you refuse to activate?’
While Adele features her son on her new album, and dedicated the music to him, she revealed this week that her One Night Only CBS special concert was the first time Angelo had ever seen her perform.
The Someone Like You hitmaker took to the stage at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles in late October to film the show.
While on stage she gushed: ‘This is the first time my son has ever seen me perform!
‘It’s the absolute honour of my life to have you here tonight, baby,’ she added with a smile.
Looking back on the heartwarming moment on Twitter, Adele said she’d ‘never been so nervous in my life’ for her son to watch her live for the first time.
She wrote: ‘It was also the first time my son saw me perform and I’ve never been so nervous in my life!! I hope you like it, tune in tonight at 8:30pmET / 8pm PT on CBS x.’
The star explained that Angelo had previously attended rehearsals with her when the arena was empty, and compared them to a packed show when they had been to see Taylor Swift together.
‘He’s like, “So many people come to her shows,” ‘ she recalled with a laugh. ‘But I make him leave before they all arrive. It was so cute and so funny.’
The Rolling in the Deep singer then told Oprah Winfrey in the accompanying interview that after the release of her first single Easy on Me from 30, her son was taken aback by her popularity.
She said: ‘There was like a hundred thousand people waiting [and] you had all these likes,’ she recalled Angelo saying. ‘Then he was like, ‘People really like you.’ ‘
Adele then discussed her hopes for her son’s future with the chat show host, saying she only wants for him to be a ‘good and happy person.’
‘I don’t expect anything of him,’ she explained. ‘I don’t care what his career is, as long as he’s passionate about whatever it is that he does and that he’s happy.’
In the interview Adele also revealed that adjusting to being a single parent and her divorce was a ‘process’ and ‘exhausting’.
Family: The reviews come after it was revealed that Adele’s upcoming album would include heartbreaking voice notes exchanged with Angelo, who she shares with her ex Simon (picture with Simon in 2013)