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Adele’s 30 Day: Despite the fact that she has many heirs to her throne, Adele remains the queen of the ugly-cry ballad.

Adele's 30 Day: Despite the fact that she has many heirs to her throne, Adele remains the queen of the ugly-cry ballad.

We’ve tended to marvel at Adele’s control, elegance, and mastery of tone when we talk about her singing — when we’ve talked about it over the past decade as she became the world’s biggest pop vocalist.

However, Adele threatens to smash through all of it in the most poignant song on her long-awaited new album.

Adele's 30 Day: Despite the fact that she has many heirs to her throne, Adele remains the queen of the ugly-cry ballad.

This song is almost terrifying in its intensity: “To Be Loved,” a slow, stark, 6 1/2-minute voice-and-piano ballad about learning to let go of trauma, climaxes with what can only be described as a howl of pain, Adele’s famous God-given instrument so volcanic that it’s hard to believe everyone in Los Angeles didn’t stop and wonder what they just heard on the day she recorded it.

Adele stated that “To Be Loved” was inspired in part by her late father’s emotional neglect in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, which drew more viewers than all of the other pop singers combined for this year’s Grammy Awards.

The song, however, also serves as a key to comprehending “30,” the singer’s fourth studio album, which deals with her recent divorce from Simon Konecki, with whom she shares a 9-year-old son.

Yes, there are songs about how that relationship fell apart and the toll it had — and continues to take — on the former couple’s only child. “My Touch Love,” a beautiful soul song with traces of classic Isaac Hayes, has voice-memo fragments of the kid questioning his mother about her “huge sentiments”; it’s a little much, but any parent would cringe at the innocence in that high little voice.

“30” — the highest-profile in a string of white-woman divorce albums that also includes Kacey Musgraves’ “Star-Crossed” and Carly Pearce’s “29: Written in Stone” — also has songs in which Adele is ready to move on from her breakup, most notably “Can I Get It,” which lives up to its frisky title with a boot-scooting acoustic groove à la George Michael’s “Fai

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Adele, aged 33 and romantically linked to sports agent Rich Paul, sings, “I’m waiting on you to glue the pieces of me back together.”

Adele's 30 Day: Despite the fact that she has many heirs to her throne, Adele remains the queen of the ugly-cry ballad.

“30” is more than just gossip about Konecki or her new boyfriend; it’s a philosophical examination of why love fails and what it means for the people involved, using Adele’s personal experiences — both in her marriage and as a child — to fuel a kind of philosophical examination of why love fails and what it means for the people involved.

“Woman Like Me” considers the important distinction between complacency and consistency in a relationship, while “Love Is a Game” bemoans the alluring ease of self-deception. Even the much-tweeted “I Drink Wine,” which seemed to promise a campy millennial confession when the “30’s” track list was announced, begins with a high-flown flourish: “How can one become so confined by choices made by others?”

Adele’s voice, which is soaring yet pulpy, lovely even at its rawest (as in “To Be Loved”), lends her reflections the blood-and-guts realism that her admirers demand. There’s some of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” intensity here, but it’s filtered through Carole King’s homey wisdom in “Tapestry.”

Adele has remained constant in her artistic identity as the record industry has evolved radically around her, and the timelessness of “30’s” themes suits her. Today’s pop singers, including Adele’s two closest competitors, Drake and Taylor Swift, move from style to style in a way that mirrors the borderless streaming environment that didn’t exist when she released “25” six years ago. Even though many people had switched to downloading at the time, she still managed to sell millions of CDs; we’ll see if she can do it now that downloading is a thing of the past.

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Despite the breakdown of genres on the Hot 100, it’s worth remembering that pop audiences never completely lose their liking for Adele’s style of music. Consider Lewis Capaldi’s smash hit “Someone You Loved.” Consider the song “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Consider the song “Drivers License” by 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo, which has been dubbed “2021’s biggest hit,” or Taylor Swift’s epic 10-minute rendition of “All Too Well” on “Saturday Night Live.” We’ll need ugly-cry ballads until people stop breaking each other’s hearts, and no one does them better than Adele.

The singer introduces a scattering of new sounds into “30,” backed at times by new collaborators such as Ludwig Göransson (known for his work with Childish Gambino and on the theme for “Black Panther”) and the English producer Inflo.

The restless avant-folk arrangement in “Woman Like Me” could nearly pass for a Radiohead demo, while “Cry Your Heart Out” rides a sharp Motown-gone-reggae groove. “Oh My God” features hazy background vocals that have been heavily processed – a surprise choice, given Adele’s sing-the-phone-book appeal. (“Hold On” takes a more organic approach, with a claimed choir of “Adele’s wacky pals.”) The CD also features show-tune-style bookends with twinkling “Willy Wonka” strings at the beginning and finish.

Adele, on the other hand, is well aware that all the drama she requires can be found in her songs. Throughout her life. And in our own lives.

. SOURCE: Wothappen.com

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