Adele’s ‘30’ is an album I can listen to with my mom

Analyzing why ‘30’ is such a good listen 

'30' captures love in various forms.
Photo: 
30 reminds me of why I fell in love with Adele in the first place.  
 
On Nov. 19, Adele released her new album, 30, after a six-year hiatus. Following the 2015 release of her critically acclaimed album 25, 30 continues to cement Adele’s legacy of powerful vocals and bold storytelling. 
 
Over the years, Adele’s music has allowed me to connect with my loved ones—particularly my mother. 
 
As an immigrant to Canada, my mom carries her Indian identity with pride and still listens to her favourite Bollywood-esque tunes from the 80s and 90s. She loves slow-paced, “meaningful” music.
 
Adele’s 25 was a turning point for us, marking the first time my mom and I could connect over music in a meaningful way. In the months leading up to my move to Kingston, listening to “Hello” and “River Lea” was a way for us to accept the impending change in both our lives. 
 
30 is about change, metamorphosis, and finding yourself. My relationship with my mother aside, I think 30 is exactly what I need right now. 
 
The album emphasizes being authentically yourself while still trying to figure out what authenticity means. 30 may be rooted in heartbreak, but it’s about so much more than one singular theme. 
 
In “My Little Love,” Adele’s relationship with her son is central, and the song is grounded in motherly love. For obvious reasons, the song hits home for me. 
 
The lyrics “I feel so bad to be here when I’m so guilty,” express the songwriter’s feelings about divorce, emphasizing how a traumatic event like divorce impact both her individual journey and the journey of her son. 
 
The chorus of the song beautifully illustrates how reconciling one’s past causes moments of great despair. Adele sings, “I feel very paranoid, I feel very stressed.”
 
Adele’s vulnerability is important because she normalizes the fact that just because you have friends, a coping mechanism, and a support system, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel lonely and dejected.  
 
Another personal favourite of mine is “I Drink Wine,” a gospel and R&B pairing. Adele rhymes out, “so I hope I learn to get over myself, stop trying to be somebody else,” showing us that we need to limit comparisons to unattainable standards and let go of judgment.
 
Finally, Adele closes the album with one of her strongest tracks, “Love is A Game.” 
 
The opening reminds me of a movie from the 50s—and Adele’s unique vocal range shines through. Her delivery is superb.
 
“Love is A Game” concludes 30 on a high note, and is in direct contrast to the opening track, “Strangers By Nature.” Adele has reflected on her growth and she’s ready to call out her past hesitancies. 
 
I’ve heard a lot of criticism about 30—many have described it as “novel-like” and difficult to belt out—but I think storytelling is the album’s main strength. 
 
This is an album you can listen to and connect with another person. It's an album filled with reflection and sentimentalism. 30 has the potential to transcend generational lines, like many of Adele’s pieces—her universality is a true marker of powerful song writing. 
 
30 is inherently an album about love in different forms. Mom, I miss you, and I can’t wait to listen to this album together.   

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.