The singer’s long-awaited return will start this week, with the release of a single, “Easy on Me,” followed by a new album on Nov. 19, she announced on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
By guest author Joe Coscarelli from the New York Times. He is a culture reporter with a focus on pop music. His work seeks to pull back the curtain on how hit songs and emerging artists are discovered, made and marketed. He previously worked at New York magazine and The Village Voice.
Almost six years to the day since the release of her previous blockbuster album, Adele will make her long-awaited return to the music industry with a new album on Nov. 19, she announced Wednesday on social media.
Titled “30,” in line with her previous LPs“19,” “21” and “25” — for the ages Adele was while writing them — the singer, now 33, said in a statement that the album came out of “the most turbulent period of my life.”
In 2019, Adele filed for divorce from her husband of two years, the charity executive Simon Konecki. The couple have a young son.
“I’ve learned a lot of blistering home truths about myself along the way,” Adele wrote in her announcement.
She compared the music to “that friend who, no matter what, checked in on me even though I’d stopped checking in with them because I’d become so consumed by my own grief,” adding: “I’ve painstakingly rebuilt my house and my heart since then and this album narrates it.”
“30” will be preceded on Thursday night — midnight in the United Kingdom — by a single, “Easy on Me,” produced by Greg Kurstin, who collaborated with the singer on “Hello,” the chart-topping lead song from “25,” in 2015.
Described in a recent Vogue cover story as a “a gut-wrenching plea of a piano ballad,” “Easy on Me” was previewed by Adele on Instagram on Saturday, and features the lyrics: “Go easy on me, baby, I was still a child, didn’t get the chance to Feel the world around me.”
Yet even as Adele’s new music is widely expected to be among the most commercially successful of the year, based on her track record of world-beating sales, the singer is also managing expectations as she re-enters a changed business.
“There isn’t a bombastic ‘Hello,’” she told Vogue. “But I don’t want another song like that. That song catapulted me in fame to another level that I don’t want to happen again.”
The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for 10 weeks. But streaming — which now accounts for 84 percent of recorded music revenue in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America — was still catching on. When “25” was released, on Nov. 20, 2015, it was not made available on services like Spotify and Apple Music until seven months later, instead relying on traditional sales.
That resulted in a record-breaking 3.38 million albums sold in the United States during its first week — nearly a million more than the next-highest-selling release in the Nielsen/SoundScan era. (The company, now MRC Data, began tracking point-of-sale data in 1991.)
The album “25” has since been certified 11-times platinum and won six Grammys in 2017, making Adele the first artist ever to sweep the top three categories — record of the year, song of the year and album of the year — on two separate occasions. (She did the same in 2012, with “21.”)
Unlike Adele’s previous releases, “30” is expected to be available on streaming services upon release, although Vogue reported that the singer was “adamant that it come out in tangible form,” on CDs and vinyl, as well.
According to reports, the new album will feature collaborations with the producers and songwriters Max Martin and Shellback, who worked on the previous Adele single “Send My Love (to Your New Lover)”; the singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. (“When We Were Young,” from 2015); the producer Inflo; and the composer and producer Ludwig Goransson, known for his work with Childish Gambino and on films like “Black Panther.”
“I was so fragile when I was writing it that I wanted to work only with a few people,” Adele said in her Vogue interview, citing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” as a “very big reference.”
And while the singer’s divorce helped to inspire the album, it is not the only subject, she said. “It was more me divorcing myself,” Adele explained, invoking “self-destruction,” “self-reflection” and “self-redemption.”
In recent years, the singer has also taken to working out two or three times a day, leading to significant weight loss (“I realized that when I was working out, I didn’t have any anxiety”); hosted “Saturday Night Live” as a nonmusical guest; and entered into a relationship with LeBron James’s agent Rich Paul (“I know what I want”).
“I’ve shed many layers but also wrapped myself in new ones,” Adele wrote in her statement on Wednesday, “discovered genuinely useful and wholesome mentalities to lead with, and I feel like I’ve finally found my feeling again. I’d go as far as to say I’ve never felt more peaceful in my life.”