After weeks of hype and headlines, Adele’s new album, 30, is finally upon us.
A new album from Adele is an event of truly global proportions. A bit like Christmas, really. And that release – his fourth studio album, and the first in six years – is set to be the soundtrack to millions of Tottenham fans in Tokyo this Yuletide.
Named after the age she was when she married charity boss Simon Konecki, 30 reflects on the aftermath of their divorce. An album full of firecrackers, it is not.
But what are the critics doing for the 12 new tracks?
Independent (4 stars)
“The songs themselves are good. Steeped in pathos, they tend to be beautifully crafted ballads about love and its various agonies – but it’s her voice that sells them.
“Between the typical tirades against herself, Adele goes through moments of affirmation. Like a desperate 30-year-old teenager, Adele plucks the petals from a daisy but asks a different question: do I love myself? Do I not love myself?
“Where other records have called for public input – for us to fill the blanks with great narratives with our own pain – 30 is a conversation between Adele and Adele.”
MailOnline (4 stars)
“The album does not draw the arc of a failing relationship one after the other. Its tone is more determined by its musical cut and thrust. His 12 new songs provide a stark contrast to his cheeky backstage character. In interviews, she can be irreverent. On record, she plays it frankly, her inner turmoil does not make you laugh.
“At the heart of it all, of course, is this dazzling soulful blue-eyed voice – moving without being cloying – and her phrasing is as impeccable as ever here … A return of barnstorming.”
The Sun (5 stars)
“While much of 30 is spent on lost love and personal disappointments, it’s rarely difficult listening. The album invites listeners to better understand his emotions, with low moments interspersed with rhythms fast enough to involuntarily nod and stomp their feet, reminiscent of some of his favorite early fans.
Le Temps (4 stars)
“Adèle’s voice remains remarkable: pure and unaffected, with that extremely rare ability of hers to convey great drama, little intimacy and throwaway humor at the same time. And there is nothing here that shocks or offends, no blatant attempts to jump on trends, no streaming collaborations with big rappers or pop stars.
Instead, Adele headed for an old-fashioned sound reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood, with orchestrations from Disney movies, loaded jazz chords, organ swells from church and demonstrations of vocal prowess at the Barbra Streisand. “
Read the full review (££) …
The Telegraph (5 stars)
“The songs are powerful, the performances brave, the emotions intense as the British superstar pulls every drop of his heart and soul from heart-wrenching ballads and triumphant pop.
“Grappling with the guilt, shame, and insecurity of her recent divorce, but imbued with a sense of liberation, self-forgiveness and a budding new romance, Adele Adkins created what could just be l most powerful women’s album since Carole King’s classic Tapestry in 1971.. Or at least since Adele’s own classic in 2011, 21 “
Read the full review (££) …
Standard Evening (4 stars)
“In new music, you feel like she doesn’t know what’s next or how to deal with it. When she sings, the greatest musician in the world often seems extremely vulnerable. You don’t feel like she’s making music to achieve impressive sales figures anymore.
“Sometimes her fans will wonder why someone who has so fiercely protected their privacy shared some of these desperately naked songs.”
“There is an invigorating maturity in these 12 tracks that is emotionally more complex and intriguing than the rather easier-to-follow misfortune of the previous three collections. And while 30 is at times the rawest, most understated record to date, it also manages to be the funniest reverse, in its emotionally shaking way, as Adele mixes it up with an array of producers and producers. stylistic pastiches to come up with something that has a sense of the game to go with all the sadness and self-laceration. “
NME (3 stars)
“This devastating level of honesty means that despite its more experimental moments, 30 still ends up feeling like the Adele brand, in its own way, most of the time.
“And after fair accusations of playing it musically safe in the past, it’s refreshing to see the pop titan tread more courageous territory – even if the success rate is not 100%.”
Rolling Stone (5 stars)
“She’s never looked more fierce than out of 30 – more sensitive to her own feelings, more virtuoso at shaping them into songs in the key to her damn life. 30 is Adele’s best album to date.
30 is released on November 19.