Release Date: November 19, 2021
What an emotional roller coaster! Adele’s new album is showing a new, well not new, more mature version of her earlier work. The listener really gets a chance to peep into Adele’s stream of consciousness as she self reflects on her part in both her mental health and relationship issues. This was not a typical breakup album that focuses on the victimization of the artist, but this is an album that is an honest self reflection; so personal it almost feels like we are intruding. I would say there is a ramp up to an emotional climax, however the album just thrusts you into Adele’s grief starting from the end of the first song when she says “okay I’m ready”, signaling to the listener shits about to get real. Small nuggets of wisdom and cleverness are sprinkled throughout each song with quotes sticking out to me like “It’s your projection not my rejection” and “When you lay on me can you hear my heart break?”. We see Adele really question herself and life in a more existential way. She realizes the pain she feels has no single root cause, and without being able to shift blame, she is terrified that she will always feel this way. This is such a universal human experience: to not quite feel like yourself, but facing the, larger scarier thought, that maybe this is me and it just doesn’t feel like enough. As you can tell this album has us in our feelings, and we know it will do the same to you. Not an album to miss, bring the tissues.
Illustration: Paola Trujillo
Review: Sean Ogle