AOTY 2021
Adele - 30
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2021 Ratings: #121 / 682
Year End Rank: #18
User Score
2021 Ratings: #304
Liked by 69 people

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Telegraph

The british star grapples with feelings about her recent divorce, but 30 is also full of positivity - and big, magnificently sung tunes.

100
Rolling Stone

She’s never sounded more ferocious than she does on 30—more alive to her own feelings, more virtuosic at shaping them into songs in the key of her own damn life.

91
Entertainment Weekly
With her latest, the singer goes far beyond wallowing in heartache, instead showing the entire spectrum of feelings that come with having one's life completely altered.
91
A.V. Club

Adele has never been as soul-stirring, vulnerable, or captivating as she is on 30.

90
DIY

The real masterstroke of ‘30’ ... comes with how these lyrics - the pain, the self-flagellation (sometimes cruel, often mocking), the hope, the acceptance - are expertly matched musically.

90
AllMusic
Meeting titanic expectations, this linear journey of the heart is Adele's most cohesive statement to date, pairing her inimitable voice with a dozen engrossing vignettes, reminding us that all we can do is keep trying.
90
Exclaim!

Six years after the release of her record-breaking success 25, British pop chart-topper Adele has returned with 30, taking bigger risks and revealing enough hard truths to make this her most powerful album yet.

90
The Young Folks

30 is not only her best album to date, it’s the first to live up to the potential that her powerhouse vocals have always portended.

82
Pitchfork
Once again, Adele transforms her heartbreak into a searching, graceful, and incredibly moving album. But the complexity of her emotions and the nuanced production make this her most ambitious work to date.
80
The Independent
Across a more diverse fourth record, the returning singer braids in glimmering moments of self-affirmation amid the typical tirades against herself.
80
Evening Standard
As she sings, the biggest musician in the world frequently sounds extraordinarily vulnerable.
80
The Line of Best Fit
It is a well-considered progression for her, and while there are some missteps along the way, it is so good to see her moving forward.
80
Clash
An album with novelistic depth, when ‘30’ turns once more for its London-rooted conclusion, Adele seems to reach a new level in her stratospheric career.
80
The Irish Times
There isn’t a single shock over these 12 tracks, all of which sound, essentially, like Adele songs, but the nods to Hollywood scores, 1960s soul and even her own back catalogue inject the melodrama needed to pull off the more languished ballads.
80
Slant Magazine

15 years into her illustrious career, Adele’s attention has shifted to her creative pursuits, and on 30, she displays the confidence to share her boldest vocal, stylistic, and thematic interests.

80
Albumism
Adele delivers yet again on the sound and style she’s best known for and offers moments of extra enticement for where she could go next.
80
The Arts Desk
For those of you who didn’t think it was possible for Adele to up her stakes in the game of soul-baring, think again. Her first album in six years is here and it is as raw as it is rowdy, as searing as it is silk, as relatable as it is enjoyably escapist.
80
The Observer
This is a classy album, if not quite a stone-cold classic.
74
Sputnikmusic

30 might not be a true divorce album, lacking the fire and blame game attitudes that we could assume from a modern pop record—it is however a frank, candid unloading from a person experiencing some real feelings. Something to which we can relate to, at least in part. 30 might not have been the cleanest of breakups, but it more than translates in lyrical form.

70
Gigwise

Though it doesn't move firmly into a new area of reinvention, 30 does begin a journey towards one, and in the end, it delivers in its simple promise of being a big, belting Adele Album.

70
The Sydney Morning Herald
Adele Adkins’ fourth album might be her rawest yet.
70
PopMatters

30 isn’t a groundbreaking album, nor is it particularly experimental. But it’s supremely satisfying and great as a listening experience. There are no glaring missteps, and it’s generally a very good effort from a singer who could have crumbled under the pressure of heightened expectations, but instead continues on the path she forged for herself.

70
God Is in the TV
On her fourth album, Adele has pushed the boundaries, at least a little further than she has before. Not that it’s a radical change, but a noticeable one nonetheless.
70
The Needle Drop

Apart from a few ill-conceived stylistic switch-ups, 30 is a classy and moving pop record

65
Spectrum Culture
It’s warm and mature, fun and relatable, and just as masterfully produced and performed as ever before. It’s just very Adele.
60
NME
Previously accused of playing it safe, Adele enters a new decade by experimenting with bolder sounds. It gives intriguing but mixed results.
60
The Guardian
While the topic of her divorce is all-consuming, the singer seems to be pushing gently at the boundaries of what people expect of her.
60
musicOMH

Ultimately, while some intriguing risks have been taken, 30 is probably the weakest, as well as conversely the most intimate and in many ways bravest, Adele album to date.

Doublez
62
"30" is beyond my expectations, it's a varied, coherent, poignant album that won't let you get bored. Adele tries new directions, without losing her heartbreaking music that makes her who she is, which is : Adele.

When I think of Adele, I think back 10 years, it's like a time capsule that makes me live thousands of thou-sands of memories. On a less personal note, I remember very well the popular impact of her album "21" and the phenomenal hype of her songs on TV, on the ... read more
BaddieBaphomet
80
Oh boy. I expected this album coming but even still I feel out of my depth to write about a powerhouse like Adele. Alright, biggest album of the year. Here goes nothing, I guess.

In 2011, mainstream pop music was mostly filled by club music with artists like Pitbull, LMFAO, and Black Eyed Peas ruling the charts. Regardless of how you feel about that era of music, it was undeniable that the music was mostly fixated on how it would sound on the dance floor with emotion not playing too much of a ... read more
Ryannn
20
I can bet on my life that there’s 100k+ moms in gated communities crying to I Drink Wine rn

Adele is somebody who I always thought of as just another artist my mom likes. I mean I’m not wrong, but I was never able to get a full capture of her sound. I’ve heard most of the hits, but I am definitely not a fan. I’d say that there’s some perks to Adele’s past music, but not enough to keep me interested. This album was able to change my mind.

No, this is not ... read more
MattsReviews
50
If Adele had a million fans, I am one of them. If Adele had one fan, that fan is me. If Adele had no fans, I would no longer be on Earth. If the world is against Adele, I am against the world 🌎💚🍷
CameronFriezer
73
Favourite: My Little Love
Worst: Cry Your Heart Out

1. Strangers By Nature - 6
[Honestly this isn't a bad track or anything, I guess parts of the production is nice and there is plenty of emotion in this but I really couldn't listen to it again. For me it just seemed like some movement or a bit of substance]

2. Easy On Me - 8
[I actually enjoyed this a lot and since it has come out I have streamed this a lot. I love the meaning and the emotion poured into this and even that piano creating ... read more
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Added on: October 1, 2021