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30
30 Cover.jpg
Studio album by Adele
Released November 19, 2021
Recorded 2019–2021
Genre Pop, soul, jazz, R&B
Length 58:14
Label Columbia Records
Producer(s) Shawn Everett, Ludwig Göransson, Inflo, Tobias Jesso Jr., Greg Kurstin, Max Martin, Shellback
Adele chronology
Adele 25.jpg 30 Cover.jpg
(2015) (2021)
Singles from 30
  1. Easy On Me
    Released: October 15, 2021
  2. Oh My God
    Released: November 29, 2021
Alternative cover
Adele 30 (with text).jpeg
Physical release with album title.

30 is the fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Adele, released on November 19, 2021 by Melted Stone and Columbia Records. Serving as the follow-up album to her 2015 release, 25, it was originally expected to be released in September 2020, but was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by Adele’s divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki, the album explores themes of separation, motherhood and the scrutiny of fame. Adele wrote the album between 2018 and 2021 with various producers, including Greg Kurstin, Tobias Jesso Jr., Max Martin and Shellback, all of whom she worked with on 25; new collaborators on 30 include Ludwig Göransson and Inflo.

The lead single, “Easy On Me,” was released on October 15, 2021 to international success. 30 has been advertised using an extensive promotional campaign, which included a CBS concert special titled Adele One Night Only featuring an interview segment by American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, followed by an ITV concert special titled An Audience with Adele. She also has two British Summer Time Hyde Park concerts scheduled for 1–2 July 2022 to promote the album.

Upon release, the album received widespread critical acclaim from music critics, who commended its cinematic instrumentation and strong vocal performances, and dubbed its subject matter as Adele’s most honest yet. 30 has been described as a record of pop, jazz and soul ballads focusing on romantic but melancholic themes of heartache, acceptance, and hope. American jazz pianist Erroll Garner is posthumously credited as a featured artist on the track “All Night Parking,” marking the first guest act on a standard album by Adele.

Background[]

At a show in Belfast during her Adele Live 2016 tour, Adele mentioned the possibility of debuting new material toward the tour’s conclusion[1], indicating a potentially shorter break between albums, though this never came to fruition. In the program for the tour’s finale dates at Wembley Stadium, Adele revealed that she may never tour again.[2] She initially had four concerts planned at the venue, which were rumored to be used for a tour DVD, but the final two performances were cancelled after Adele suffered damage to her vocal cords.[3] Her agent Lucy Dickins later released a statement to Music Week, reassuring reporters that Adele’s statement on her touring future was not definitive.[4]

In March 2019, Adele visited a drag bar in New York with friend Jennifer Lawrence, during which she told those in attendance, “I’m working,” presumably in reference to new music.[5] A few days later, she was spotted entering a recording studio in New York, seemingly confirming reports that she was working on a new album.[6] Dickins later confirmed that Adele was writing new material for a new album, but that “we’re definitely not in a [touring] situation yet.”[7]

In April 2019, Adele announced her separation from husband Simon Konecki[8], prompting speculation that their breakup would inspire new music. On her 31st birthday, Adele seemingly alluded to these rumors in a post on Instagram: “Bunch of fucking savages, 30 will be a drum and bass record to spite you.”[9]

In a January 2020 interview, Lucy and Jonathan Dickins confirmed new music from Adele should be expected later in the year.[10] While performing at her best friend Laura Dockrill’s wedding, Adele said the album would be released in September.[11] However, Dickins later retracted these statements, confirming that work on the album had been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] Adele reaffirmed this in a comment on Instagram after being asked about an imminent album release, writing, “Of course it’s not [being released yet]. Corona ain’t over. I’m quarantining. Wear a mask and be patient.”[13]

Themes[]

In her interviews with the American and British publications of Vogue for their November 2021 issues, Adele confirmed that, while it wasn’t the sole focus of the album, much of 30 was inspired by her divorce from Simon Konecki and its effects on her and her relationship with her son, Angelo.[14][15] “It’s sensitive for me, this record, just in how much I love it,” Adele said of the album. “I always say that 21 doesn’t belong to me anymore. Everyone else took it into their hearts so much. I’m not letting go of this one. This is my album. I want to share myself with everyone, but I don’t think I’ll ever let this one go.”[14] During an Instagram Live on October 9, 2021, Adele reiterated that 30 would center on her divorce.[16]

Adele noted that 30 is more introspective than her previous efforts. “I feel like this album is self-destruction, then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption,” she said. “I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”[15]

Title[]

Early on in the promotion for 25, Adele revealed that she planned to stop naming albums after her age.[17][18] However, on her 31st birthday, Adele published a rare social media post in which she — seemingly jokingly — referred to her next album as 30, alluding to the theme of her previous three albums’ titles.[9]

After a series of billboards with “30” written on them appeared in various locations throughout the world on October 1, Rolling Stone speculated that Adele’s forthcoming studio album would in fact be titled 30.[19] Adele seemingly confirmed this when her website and social media accounts were updated the following Monday, October 4, matching the color scheme seen on the advertisements.[20] On October 13, 2021, she officially announced that her fourth studio album would be titled 30.[21]

Production[]

Greg Kurstin, Max Martin, Shellback and Tobias Jesso Jr. — all of whom worked with Adele on 25 — have been confirmed to have songs on the album, while additional collaborations include Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson and London-based producer Inflo.[14][15]

Similarly to Adele’s previous albums, the vocal tracks used on 30 are original demos.[14]

Release and promotion[]

On October 18, 2020, Adele confirmed she would be hosting the October 24 episode of Saturday Night Live, reinvigorating fans’ hope that new music would be imminent.[22] However, during the episode, Adele confirmed that her fourth studio album was not yet finished.[23] She later hinted via an Instagram post that she would be returning to music in 2021,[24] which was further teased by an Instagram post from Sony Music Germany on December 31.[25] Comedian Alan Carr, a close friend of Adele’s, also hinted that the album would be released in 2021, describing the material he has heard from the album as “amazing” during an interview with Grazia UK.[26]

On September 28, 2021, tweets from numerous radio stations across the globe indicated that new Adele music could be released as early as that week.[27] Later that week, Taylor Swift moved the release of her forthcoming re-recording of her 2012 album Red — previously slated for a November 19 release date — to November 12, sparking speculation that Adele would be releasing a new album on November 19.[28] Days later, Hits Daily Double, who previously reported exclusively on the album rollout for 25, reiterated that Adele’s fourth studio album would be released on November 19.[29]

On the weekend of October 1, a series of billboards and projections displaying the number “30” appeared in various locations across the globe, with reports that it could be tied to Adele’s forthcoming studio album, 30.[19] On Monday, October 4, Adele’s social media accounts and website were updated to match the blue color from the advertisements, indicating an imminent announcement from Adele.[20] The next day, Adele officially announced an October 15 release for the album’s lead single, “Easy On Me,” with a clip of its music video on her social media accounts.[30] Later that week, Adele became the first person to simultaneously appear on the covers of both American and British Vogue publications in the same month; both magazines featured interviews in which Adele revealed details about her new album.[31]

Unlike 25, Adele confirmed that 30 will be available on streaming services the day of its release, in addition to a traditional release on physical formats.[14] Likewise, 30 differs from Adele’s previous releases in that it will not be released by XL Recordings; instead, its worldwide distribution will be handled by Columbia Records, which previously only handled Adele’s releases in North America.[32]

On October 13, 2021, Adele officially announced the title of the album would be 30 and that it was slated for release on November 19, 2021.[33] The following week, she announced a television special, Adele One Night Only, would air on CBS on November 14, 2021.[34] The special will feature an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, as well as live performances of both Adele’s biggest hits and her newest songs from the album.[35]

Possible songs and collaborations[]

During the conception of 25, Adele wrote enough material for what she claimed could be three or four albums. She later revealed that she had four or five songs that she might revisit at a later date, among them a Greg Kurstin-contributed song that she felt was more appropriate once she was older.

I feel like I’m a bit young tossing it right now, but it’s a really great, great song. It’s like Celine [Dion] meets Meat Loaf meets, like, Barbra [Streisand] meets, like, Beyoncé or something. It’s, like, all of my wet-dream idols [laughs]. But it’s really, really great, actually. We didn’t finish it in time, and also it just felt like maybe I should be, like, 32 when I do it rather than 27? And there’s definitely four or five other songs that I would definitely revisit. And it depends what place I’m at in my life, then. It might be completely irrelevant to me, then. I don’t want to put a song on the record just because it’s good if I can’t relate to it.[36]

Multiple collaborations with songwriter Diane Warren were also cut from 25. Recorded at RAK Studios in northwest London, most of their collaborations were written and completed by early 2014.[37][38][39] Despite this, Warren mentioned the possibility of some of the songs appearing on future albums, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I did some songs with Adele that she still loves. Hopefully they’ll find their way onto her next album. We did some songs early in the process for 25. But I ran into her and she was like, ‘I still love those songs. I still want them. Don’t give them away.’ And they’re really good songs. Two, I think, are great.”[40]

According to a report from The Sun, Adele met with returning collaborators Mark Ronson, Ryan Tedder, Paul Epworth and Jim Abbiss to work on her fourth studio album.[41] Tedder later seemingly confirmed rumors that he had been in the studio with Adele, teasing, “I’ll just say that she sounds better than ever.”[42] Later reports indicated that Adele was also working with John Legend and Raphael Saadiq in hopes of crafting an album “full of soul, with a more eclectic sound.”[43]

In December 2020, drummer Matt Chamberlin — who previously worked with Adele during recording sessions for 25 — confirmed that he had recently been in the studio with her for her fourth studio album, calling her new material “powerful and emotive.” He also revealed that she was working with songwriter Rick Nowels, with whom she previously wrote “Why Do You Love Me” for the deluxe edition of 25.[44]

Commercial performance[]

On October 29, 2021, three weeks before the release, the album broke the Apple Music record for the most pre-added album ever on the streaming platform, surpassing Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever (2021); 30 also broke the record for the largest number of pre-adds in a single day, as well as the record for achieving it in the shortest timeframe.[45]

Track listing[]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. Strangers By Nature Adele AdkinsLudwig Göransson Göransson 3:02
2. Easy On Me Adkins • Greg Kurstin Kurstin 3:44
3. My Little Love Adkins • Kurstin Kurstin 6:29
4. Cry Your Heart Out Adkins • Kurstin Kurstin 4:15
5. Oh My God Adkins • Kurstin Kurstin 3:45
6. Can I Get It Adkins • Max MartinShellback Martin • Shellback 3:30
7. I Drink Wine Adkins • Kurstin Kurstin 6:16
8. All Night Parking(Interlude)
(with Erroll Garner)
Adkins • Erroll Gardner Joey Pecoraro • Kurstin 2:41
9. Woman Like Me Adkins • Inflo Inflo 5:00
10. Hold On Adkins • Inflo Inflo 6:06
11. To Be Loved Adkins • Tobias Jesso Jr. Jesso Jr. • Shawn Everett 6:43
12. Love Is a Game Adkins • Inflo Inflo 6:43
Target deluxe edition bonus tracks[46]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. Wild Wild West Adkins • Göransson Göransson 3:46
14. Can’t Be Together Adkins • Kurstin Kurstin 4:17
15. Easy On Me(with Chris Stapleton) Adkins • Kurstin Kurstin 3:44

Booklet[]

The album artwork was photographed by Simon Emmett and the booklet was photographed by Raven B. Varona.

Standard edition[]

Deluxe edition[]

References[]

  1. Brawl breaks out at Adele concert | Toronto Sun
  2. Adele: ‘I Don’t Know If I’ll Ever Tour Again’ – Rolling Stone
  3. Adele cancels final shows after hinting she’s done touring – CNN
  4. Adele’s agent speaks out on her touring future – ‘Let her enjoy life’ | Music | Entertainment | Express.co.uk
  5. Adele Teases Comeback: "I'm Working" – That Grape Juice
  6. Adele Spotted Going Incognito at Recording Studio | PEOPLE.com
  7. Super agent Lucy Dickins talks breaking artists | Live | Music Week
  8. Rep: Adele, husband Simon Konecki have separated — Associated Press
  9. 9.0 9.1 Adele Got Candid About Her Tough Year And Announced New Music In A Beautiful Instagram Post — BuzzFeed
  10. Dickins family talk Adele at Eurosonic Noorderslag music conference | Talent | Music Week
  11. Adele Says Fans Can Expect a New Album in September | PEOPLE.com | PEOPLE.com
  12. Jonathan Dickins talks music in lockdown | Management | Music Week
  13. Adele wore her Glastonbury Festival dress to watch it and needs you to calm down about a new album - CNN
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Adele on Her New Album, Anxiety & Workout Routine: Vogue's November 2021 Cover Issue | Vogue
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Adele’s Vogue Cover Interview: Divorce, Weight Loss, Romance & Her “Self-Redemption” Record | British Vogue
  16. Adele Plays Clip of “Easy On Me” From New Album While On Instagram Live – Yahoo! News
  17. Adele Says She’ll Ditch Naming Albums After Her Age | Billboard
  18. Adele Carpool Karaoke
  19. 19.0 19.1 Is Adele Teasing Her Return With Mysterious ‘30’ Billboards? - Rolling Stone
  20. 20.0 20.1 Adele teases return with new website and social media images | NME
  21. Adele says Hello to Columbia Records UK, 30 album confirmed for November 19 | Labels | Music Week
  22. Adele on Instagram: “Bloooooody hellllll I’m so excited about this!! And also absolutely terrified! My first ever hosting gig and for SNL of all things!!!! I’ve…”
  23. Adele Monologue - SNL - YouTube
  24. Adele on Instagram: “Had the best time on SNL! Thank you to the most wonderful cast, crew, writers and producers. What a sublime bunch of people you are. Lorne…”
  25. Sony Music Germany (@sonymusicde) • Instagram photos and videos
  26. Adele’s Close Friend Suggests Her Album Is Coming Next Month - Variety
  27. “Is It Time to Say Hello Again?” | Hits Daily Double
  28. Fans Think That Taylor Swift Moving Her “Red” Album Release Up Means Adele’s “30¨ Album Is Coming | BuzzFeed
  29. NBC’s Big “Return” | Hits Daily Double
  30. Adele - Easy On Me (Clip) - YouTube
  31. Vogue Magazine on Twitter: "For the first time ever Vogue and @BritishVogue profile one cover star. @Adele is back—and this reemergence is different. / Twitter
  32. Adele says Hello to Columbia Records UK, 30 album confirmed for November 19 | Labels | Music Week
  33. Adele on Twitter: “30 - November 19”
  34. Adele on Twitter: “CBS - November 14”
  35. ‘Adele One Night Only’ TV Special, With Oprah Interview, Airs Nov. 14 – Variety
  36. 17 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Adele – Rolling Stone
  37. More proof that a new Adele album is on the way? - BBC Newsbeat
  38. Studiosystemnews.com
  39. Diane Warren on the GRAMMYs Red Carpet 2014 | Billboard
  40. Diane Warren: Adele collaborations could make it onto '25' follow-up | EW.com
  41. Adele is swerving trademark ballads and relaunching her career with an up-tempo ‘banger’ about her divorce – The Sun
  42. Adele sounds ‘better than ever’ reveals collaborator OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder ahead of her comeback – The Sun
  43. Adele reportedly working with Raphael Saadiq on new album – NME
  44. Ex-Pearl Jam Drummer Talks What It Was Like Playing With David Bowie, Recalls How Bob Dylan Behaved When He Joined His Band | Music News @ UltimateGuitar.com
  45. Adele '30' Breaks Apple Music Pre-Add Record – Billboard
  46. Adele - 30 (target Exclusive, Deluxe Cd) : Target
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