Six years have passed since Adele last showed her face in the music industry – now, she’s ready to face her future.
Adele confirmed her long-awaited fourth studio album “30” just two weeks ago. Rumor had it that her comeback was on the way, with mysterious projections of the number "30" popping up on buildings around the world.
The last year to earn an album from Adele was her 2016 smash-hit Grammy winner, “25.” The success from “25” deemed her the master of the pop ballad and made her one of the most powerful voices in today’s music.
Following the announcement of her newest lead single, “Easy on Me,” both fans and casual listeners debated over the sound they wanted to hear from a matured Adele. Some hoped she would return in a risky change-of-genre, and others pressed onward for her signature orchestral sound — the major selling point of chart-toppers like “Hello” and “Rolling in the Deep.”
The song and its music video dropped Oct. 14, and relieved those who wished Adele would stick to what she knows. The track picks up where “25” left off, promising fans that she won’t abandon the heart of her sound in transitioning to this new era.
Adele assures her fans that she’s actually reformed what she’s used to – and after enduring her worst year at 30, she trusts the musician she became from it.
After a hiatus following a public divorce and a second vocal surgery, “Easy on Me” welcomes back a wiser Adele. She sounds healthier than ever before – her breath floods out from deep within her.
She’s strong, but supported, and pours over the notes with ease.
In a bare first verse, she sings in her element. Digging for gold in a murky river, Adele confesses that she feels hopeless, and is drowning in the absence of her music and her fans.
The second verse comes in with a pulsing drum, beating the song forward. Adele regrets wasting so much of her time and heart with the love that always held her down. Now, she wants to break free and find herself.
The chorus breaks her down to her most vulnerable. She asks for grace from the public who expects of her, from the love that she gave up, and from herself as a growing artist.
She didn’t choose to be famous at 19, but now she’s choosing to make the life her own.
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Stripped down to a mostly stagnant piano line, Adele rains down in gentle runs to mourn the missing years of her life.
Long-time listeners will find references to Adele’s older albums in the song’s music video – the tarps on the furniture channel “21’s” "Rolling in the Deep", and the house she moves away from resembles “25’s” "Hello."
The only detraction from the song’s potential for long-lasting success is its bridge. Following a dissonant riff that never moves, the lines draw short, and they never hush down to build tension. Adele performs better in songs like “Rolling in the Deep,” where the bridge takes you under a tunnel, before shooting back into the final chorus.
“Easy on Me” doesn’t reach the same fever pitches that her older works do, leaving casual listeners without the catharsis they need to play it back. In that case, this lead single probably won’t top the charts forever.
However, Adele isn’t looking for statistical success.
Adele wants to step back from the legendary status, and acknowledge herself as human.
The coming album will answer for that transformation – what did it take her to stop feeling such a pressure for success? What inspired her to follow her instincts?
She rebuilt her home and her heart over the break, and uses this lead single to open up about the process.
Adele prepares the world to meet an evolved woman, and implores everyone to be understanding.
“Easy on Me” reflects over her past mistakes, and asks forgiveness for the ones she’ll make in the future. She’s trying to navigate her life just like anyone else – only she has had to do it in the public eye.
Nobody expects Adele to let them down. In fact, her name is such a force in the industry that “30” will attract audiences regardless of its success in singles.
Nevertheless, it shouldn’t shock anyone that “Easy on Me” broke the global record for streams on its first day out.
“Easy on Me” might not last dominate the public’s ear forever, but Adele will sing on. People can always trust her to be the voice that breaks their heart.
In the face of global unrest, Adele will return as the emotional explosion that the music world is begging for.
Listen to “30” on November 19th.