The singer is back with a brand new album – but has it been worth the wait?

Adele is certainly in a reflective mood on her fourth eagerly anticipated album which sees her dealing with divorce and its impact on her and son Angelo’s lives. On the surface if you have not gone through a divorce then perhaps it makes it slightly difficult to relate to but then on a deeper level it feels as though you can apply the messages to any complex relationship that perhaps ends not the way that you thought.

This certainly comes across as Adele’s most personal and soul revealing album to date. In particular, songs such as ‘My Little Love’ and ‘Woman Like Me’ come across as the most open emotionally and that in turn makes them stand out songs on the record.

But while the themes of heartbreak and regret are still very much on display, there are signs that musically she might be heading in a different direction as the catchy ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Drink Wine’ for example show how she is changing subtle aspects of her music, allowing for a smokier side to her vocals to emerge in a lovely way. This can be also heard on the interlude song ‘All Night Parking’ which while is sultry, the lyrics remain reflective – making it a real standout song and would be lovely to hear more in the future.

Yet of course, Adele has not lost her touch with regards to creating soul searching songs that are filled with yearning as can be heard on ‘To be Loved’ which has been expertly crafted with style that offers genuine emotion that makes the listener sit up and pay attention. Meanwhile, the album’s final track ‘Love is a Game’ is a beautiful song – particularly hearing the orchestra performing the opening section which is wonderfully layered with sound – and is a lovely song to close the album.

The overall vibe of the album might be serious and reflective, but the fact that it is understated and still makes the themes shine through powerfully is certainly more than enough to make listeners sit up and pay attention. Has it been worth the wait? I would say yes – it certainly is an album that seems to suggest that we can expect a change in direction for Adele’s music and is worth a listen or two at least.

By Emma Clarendon

30 is available to buy and download now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐