I appreciate the fact that Adele gave us notice for new sad divorce music, so I think all of us Adele fans went back to 21 and 25 to prepare ourselves. Like, we can’t be thrown into the boiling water of heartbreak, we have to be eased into the water gradually. The throughline of Adele’s music isn’t just about heartbreak, it’s about nostalgia, a yearning nostalgia for being young, free and open to life-altering love. She’s in her 30s now, one divorce behind her, older and wiser and trying to take ownership of her sh-t, but the nostalgia for who she was and the decisions she made “back then” still remain.
Adele prepared us for “Easy on Me,” her first single off her album 30. She told Vogue that this album isn’t full of “Hello” type songs, but you can definitely feel the echo of “Hello” in “Easy,” not just lyrically, but in the video. Like the “Hello” video, “Easy” was directed by Xavier Dolan, whose wistfulness suits Adele very well. Here’s the video for “Easy on Me.”
She’s right, it’s not an anthemic banger like “Hello” or “Rolling in the Deep” (her first singles from her previous albums). She seems to have simplified her production and made a conscious choice to let her lyrics and voice speak for themselves. I enjoyed all of this – the song, the lyrics, the video. She’s growing as a visual artist too, she’s maturing all around.
This week, Adele posted this on Instagram – I guess this is the album cover for 30. The second slide is a statement about what this album means to her and what she was going through as she made it.