English superstar Adele has officially released the first single from her upcoming fourth album 30, ‘Easy On Me’.
It’s been a long hype train up until this point, complete with billboards, social media teases, rumours of other artists moving their album releases to get out of the way, anthropomorphisation of 30 as a close friend of Adele’s. It’s been wild, and the result is almost certainly the most hyped album for the remainder of the year. But the question still remains: Is this all worth it?
Well here’s the good news – it’s an Adele song. No frills, no change, no drum and bass as she (probably jokingly) indicated. Just a big, bad, sweeping and dramatic piano ballad complete with some of those huge belting notes and heartbroken lyrics that we’ve all come to expect. 30 is supposed to be Adele’s divorce album, but ‘Easy On Me’ focuses on the vulnerabilities that come with giving your heart away and getting it thrown right back at it you. It’s understated, at least for Adele standards, but it’s still right in her wheelhouse, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to have another Adele song in the world.
This is the same strategy that came with 25 and ‘Hello’: launching with an earworm ballad. Lord knows it worked last time. At this point, Adele as an artist is pretty much too big to fail: she’d have to completely reinvent herself to get anybody up and arms. Maybe that makes ‘Easy On Me’ a safe bet, but then again, who doesn’t want an Adele song from Adele? That’s like asking AC/DC to make a disco song.
She’s even giving the long-winded narrative video a role, the true sign that an artist is huge. Is 30 going to be an entire film-via-album, like Lemonade or Blue Weekend? I guess we’ll just have to see in November.
‘Easy On Me’ is a good song, even if it doesn’t quite have an unmistakable hook like ‘Hello’ or ‘Someone Like You’. It’s still going to be huge, it’s still going to be the soundtrack to a million good crying sessions, and it’s going to act as the spark to what I’m sure is going to be another monster album. Weirdly, it’s nice to be back here. It feels like the world is back in its appropriate place, in some small way.
30 will come and let us all forget about whatever hellscape is going on outside for an hour or so. ‘Easy On Me’ is the first step towards that, and it’s a pretty strong step forward, even if nothing’s really changed. There ain’t no room for things to change, as she says in the lyrics. Everything’s different, everything stays the same. Welcome back, Adele.
Check out the video for ‘Easy On Me’ down below. 30 will be released on November 19.