Why Listening to Adele’s album 30 in chronological order matters.
Adele spoke and Spotify listened.
“In a viral tweet immediately following the release of “30”, Adele commented “We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason… our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening.”
To which Spotify’s official Twitter account responded, “Anything for you.”
Adele’s Spotify request piqued my interest in an album I had no intentions of ever listening to.
Quite honestly I had been avoiding listening to the album. Mentally and emotionally I was unsure if I could listen to an album about divorce after I had neatly buried the pain from my own divorce years before. After all there are some rabbit holes that once you have clawed your way out of, you have no interest in burrowing back down. And yet, I wanted to see what all the hype was about listening to the album the way Adele had carefully selected.
So I took a deep breath and finally listened to 30, in chronological order……
Sweet baby Jesus.
Adele is a master storyteller and 30 is a tour de force. Her depth and willingness to be truly vulnerable shines through on this album. I wept out loud when I listened to My little love. The lyrics combined with snippets of her honest conversations with her son whisked me back to the early days of my divorce where it was all I could do to get out of bed. Memories surged and I could see my children staring up at me, searching my face for answers that I did not have.
Track number 4 Oh my God takes us on a upbeat journey of what it is like to be newly single and back in the dating pool, all the excitement coupled with jitters and new emotions.
My favorite track of all however shows up closer to the end of the album To be loved . It is a gut wrenching personal account of the demise her relationship coupled with accountability for her part in the divorce and the decisions that led her there. The lyrics take us on a journey of self discovery and reveal Adele’s ultimate desire to be loved for who she really is. It is a powerful ballad that she performs with her whole heart out on display. This track brought me full circle. Adele landed me safely back in the present, reminding me of how far I had truly come.
To Be Loved
I built a house for a love to grow
I was so young that it was hard to know
I’m as lost now as I was back then
Always make a mess of everything
It’s about time that I face myself
All I do is bleed into someone else
Painting walls with all my secret tears
Filling rooms with all my hopes and fears
But oh my, oh my
I’ll never learn if I never leap
I’ll always yearn if I never speak
To be loved and love at the highest count
Means to lose all the things I can’t live without
Let it be known that I will choose to lose
It’s a sacrifice, but I can’t live a lie
Let it be known, let it be known that I tried
I’m so afraid, but I’m open wide
I’ll be the one to catch myself this time
Tryna learn to lean into it all
Ain’t it funny how the mighty fall?
Looking back, I don’t regret a thing
Yeah, I took some bad turns that I am owning
I’ll stand still and let the storm pass by
Keep my heart safe till the time feels right
As someone who has navigated the disorientating process of divorce, this album was so much more than just a reminder of the grief that I experienced through out my divorce. 30 is a lyrical journey that when listened in chronological order can almost feel therapeutic.
This album comes along long enough after my divorce that I am not split wide open, but just in time to act like a soothing balm on wounds that I hadn't realized still longed for healing.
Thank you Adele what a masterpiece. But also thank you Spotify for allowing us to understand the importance of following an album on a carefully curated lyrical journey.