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The Most Powerful, Heartbreaking, Yet Extremely Relatable Lyrics Off Adele's Album 30 Explained

People logo People 11/19/2021 Skyler Caruso
Adele © Simon Emmett Adele

Simon Emmett Adele © Provided by People Simon Emmett Adele

Grab the tissue box (or two).

Nearly six years after her smash-hit album 25 in 2015, Adele released her long-awaited album 30 on Friday – and it's infused with lyrics about heartbreak, self-forgiveness, and liberation.

The standard tracklist is 12 songs, with an additional three songs listed on the deluxe album – including her previously released single "Easy on Me." Marking her fourth studio album, the 33-year-old has previously revealed that the creation process was a saving grace amid her divorce from Simon Konecki in 2019.

"It was like it really helped me, this album," she told Zane Lowe during an Apple Music interview. "It really, really did. And I truly do believe, like, when we started the interview where I was like, 'There's not an occasion or a scenario or a feeling where there is not the perfect song for it somewhere.' I really do believe, and I'm not being arrogant or anything like that here, it's just, like, it was my hell. But I really went to hell and back."

Simon Emmett 30 Cover Art © Provided by People Simon Emmett 30 Cover Art

The 15-time Grammy winner also intertwined inspiration from her 9-year-old son, Angelo. On the record's third track, titled "My Little Love," Adele wove in various voice notes that she recorded with him while discussing her divorce from Konecki, his father.

One of the heart-wrenching voice notes echoed in the song is when Angelo tells his mother, "Oi, I feel like you don't love me," followed by Adele's response, "You know mummy doesn't like anyone else like I like you, right?"

30 has put Adele fans in their feelings since its release, as they found a sense of emotional connection with the artist and resonated with her truthful lyrics. In fact, #Adele30 trended on Twitter for hours as fans spilled their thoughts and tears (so many tears).

RELATED: The Meaning Behind Adele's Saturn Schiaparelli Earrings from Her One Night Only Special

Cliff Lipson/CBS © Provided by People Cliff Lipson/CBS

One person tweeted, "Hate making premature takes but on the first listen this is Adele's best album. It is just so clear. This woman is only in competition with herself," while others posted rather relatable memes.

Prior to the album's release, the singer gave fans a preview of 30 during her Adele One Night Only event, where she performed "Easy on Me," "I Drink Wine," "Hold On" and "Love Is a Game." Adele was also interviewed by Oprah as she discussed the stories behind her songs.

Following the concert special, which was broadcasted on CBS, Adele said in a tweet, "Thank you to everyone who made it possible. To Oprah for allowing me to tell my truth lovingly in a safe space. The whole thing was pretty overwhelming, I've seen it twice and cried my eyes out both times."

RELATED:Adele Reveals Concert Special Was First Time Son Angelo Saw Her Perform: 'Honor of My Life'

Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions Adele and Oprah © Provided by People Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions Adele and Oprah

Keep scrolling for the lyrics as we break down Adele's breakup songs off her new album 30.

"Strangers by Nature"

The opening words sung by Adele align with the intent of what the album is all about. She starts by singing, "I'll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart." She continued, "For all of my lovers in the present and in the dark / Every anniversary I'll pay respects and say I'm sorry / For they never stood chances if they could." 

The song ends with a voice note that marks the beginning of an emotional journey for listeners, stating, "Alright then, I'm ready." 

"Easy on Me"

The second track, and previously-released single, explores the moments the singer knew her marriage was over and how she built up the courage to leave. She uses the word "river" as a metaphor for her marriage.

"There ain't no gold in this river / That I've been washin' my hands in forever," she sings in the opening lines. "I know there is hope in these waters / But I can't bring myself to swim / When I am drowning in this silence / Baby, let me in."

Raven B Varona Adele © Provided by People Raven B Varona Adele

"Easy on Me" is the only song on the album that the lyrics are explicitly about her marriage – while the rest of the songs reference her life in the wake of it.

"There ain't no room for things to change / When we are both so deeply stuck in our ways / You can't deny how hard I have tried / I changed who I was to put you both first / But now I give up."

"My Little Love"


Video: Adele’s ‘30’ is the Year’s Top-Selling Album After Just 3 Days | Billboard News (Billboard)

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If the tears aren't already flowing, they will now. This song is a heart-wrenching message to her little boy Angelo, apologizing for breaking up his family amid her divorce. "When you lay on me, can you hear the way my heart breaks? / I wanted you to have everything I never had / I'm so sorry if what I've done makes you feel sad," she sings.

This song is filled with voice memos of both Adele and her son and ends with an honest, broken-down cry where she says, "I just feel really lonely, I feel a bit frightened that I might feel like this a lot."

Raven B. Varona Adele with friends Nicole Richie and Lauren Paul © Provided by People Raven B. Varona Adele with friends Nicole Richie and Lauren Paul

"Cry Your Heart Out"

Contrary to the song's title, this song will make you want to dance it out instead of cry it out. Combined with an upbeat drumbeat, the lyrics are a reminder to herself, while encouraging listeners to "go at your own pace" while dealing with difficult times.

"When I wake up, I'm afraid of the idea of facin' the day / I would rather stay home on my own, drink it all away," she sings. "Please stop callin' me, it's exhausting, there's really nothin' left to say / I created this storm, it's only fair I have to sit in its rain."

During her interview with Oprah, Adele mentioned giving up alcohol and admitted, "At first, I was probably keeping the alcohol industry alive."

"Oh My God"

This track is a powerful, sex-positive anthem that explores the singer's feelings and desires post-divorce. Before the claps kick in for a fun chorus, she sings, "I know that it's wrong, but I want to have fun."

The confidence queen proudly states in an iconic line, "I'm a grown woman and I do what I want to do." The song seems to explore the singer's jump back into single life, following her divorce.

"Can I Get It"

Adele told Rolling Stone in an interview that this song delves into her want to attempt a real relationship, as opposed to just casual sex. Seemingly difficult to do in Los Angeles, according to the singer who said "I lasted five seconds [dating here]," she admits she's willingly putting herself out there, although it's difficult at times.

"When will you run with me? / Like I know you wanna (Like you want to, like you want) / You're the one for me / And I'm countin' on you (On you) / To put the pieces of me back together," she sings in the bridge. 

"I Drink Wine"

This gospel-esque ballad is a nod to Adele being unable to let anyone in until she learned to accept herself first. "So I hope I learn to get over myself / Stop tryin' to be somebody else," she sings in the chorus.

The song that's already gone viral on Twitter, in part due to the title alone, is about shedding one's ego. "I took everything so personally at that period of time in my life," she explains, "so the lyric 'I hope I learn to get over myself' is like [me saying] 'Once I've done that, then maybe I can let you love me,'" she told Rolling Stone.

Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions Adele and Oprah © Provided by People Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions Adele and Oprah

"All Night Parking"

This track serves as the album's interlude, breaking it into two distinct halves. In this song, Adele expresses her shock and disbelief in falling for someone so soon after her split. "I don't know how you got through to me / It's all happenin' so easily," she sings before saying the man reminds her of where she comes from.

She told Rolling Stone that her long-distance relationship, which was before she fell for her current partner, Rich Paul, "was a great learning curve and nice to feel loved, but it was never going to work."

a person talking on a cell phone: Ronald Martinez/Getty Adele and Rich Paul © Provided by People Ronald Martinez/Getty Adele and Rich Paul

"Woman Like Me"

The song channels Adele's empowerment while questioning a past lover about how oblivious he is to her greatness.

"Complacency is the worst trait to have, are you crazy? / You ain't never had, ain't never had a woman like me / It is so sad a man likе you could be so lazy / Consistency is the gift to givе for free and it is key / To ever keep, to ever keep a woman like me."

But then she came to the realization that the relationship wasn't for her in the end.

"We come from the same place, but you will never give it up / It's where they make you feel powerful, that's why you think I make you feel small / But that's your projection, it's not my rejection," she sings.

"Hold On"

This track was written in true, Adele-ballad fashion. The song addresses the frustration and anger the singer felt toward herself, singing, "I'm my own worst enemy / Right now I truly hate bein' me."

Adele told Oprah in her Adele: One Night Only special, "My friends would tell me to hold on when I would feel like the lyrics in the verse. But it was just exhausting trying to keep going with it."

The first verse encapsulates her exhaustion: "I don't want to live in chaos / It's like a ride that I want to get off / It's hard to hold on to who I am / When I'm stumblin' in the dark for a hand / I am so tired of battling with myself, with no chance to win."

"To Be Loved"

This deep cut addresses Adele coming to terms with her past decisions, while courageously facing the consequences that have resulted. "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." Adele had her son when she was only 23 years old.

The singer reveals that she is now content as she sings, "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 'til the time feels right."

"Love Is a Game"

The twelfth and final track circles back to the beginning of the album, where she mentions bringing flowers to the cemetery of her heart. Now that she's healed herself, she's ready to love again.

"I can love, I can love again / I love me now, like I loved him / I'm a fool for that / You know I, you know I'm gonna do it / Oh oh oh oh, I'd do it all again like I did then," she sings, allowing herself to move forward from her past. 

During the singer's Oprah interview, she admitted to becoming better at the "game of love" because she doesn't view it like one anymore. She said, "I don't treat it like a game anymore," Adele said. "That thing where, 'You're going to hurt me so I'm gonna hurt you first,' I'm not like that anymore."

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