Last week Adele released “Easy on Me,” her first single in six years. Here’s why I think it’s exceptional and what this means for her upcoming album.
Last Thursday at 3:55 p.m., an alarm went off on my phone, lighting up the screen with one word in all caps: ADELE. In just five minutes, my favorite musical artist of all time would be releasing her single, “Easy on Me,” ending a six-year hiatus.
I laid down on my bed, put my AirPods on noise cancellation mode and opened the Spotify app on my phone, waiting for the little numbers in the top corner to read “4:00.”
When the moment finally arrived, I frantically typed in “Easy on Me,” hit play and closed my eyes, letting the piano-driven ballad wash over me and welcoming Adele’s familiar, mournfully powerful voice back into my life like an old friend.
Adele’s new single, “Easy on Me,” lives up to the high expectations fans had for her return, while introducing a matured voice and the theme of her divorce into her storytelling.
The single is a self-proclaimed plea for her ex-husband, Simon Konecki, and her nine-year-old son, Angelo, to understand why she had to leave her marriage.
In the chorus, Adele belts: “Go easy on me, baby / I was still a child / Didn’t get the chance to / Feel the world around me / Had no time to choose what I chose to do.”
The emotion Adele fills each word with transports listeners into her shoes as she begs her ex-husband and child to see things from her side of the divorce.
“It’s not like anyone’s having a go at me,” Adele said in an interview with British Vogue, “but it’s like, I left the marriage. Be kind to me as well. It was the first song I wrote for the album and then I didn’t write anything else for six months after because I was like, ‘OK, well, I’ve said it all.’”
Adele and Konecki had a child together in 2012 and then got married in 2018. However, the pair announced their separation in 2019 and filed divorce papers in September of that year, according to BBC.
“I was just going through the motions and I wasn’t happy,” Adele told Vogue. “Neither of us did anything wrong. Neither of us hurt each other or anything like that. It was just: I want my son to see me really love, and be loved. It’s really important to me.”
Adele said that she and Konecki have joint custody of their son, Angelo. In fact, Konecki lives across the street from Adele in Beverly Hills in a house she bought for him.
In my opinion — admitting my bias as an Adele fan — “Easy on Me” is one of the best singles to be released this year and deserves recognition as such. Others seem to agree with this stance as well, seeing as, within 24 hours of its release, the song broke the record for most-streamed song in a single day on Spotify.
“Easy on Me” precedes Adele’s fourth album, which will be released on November 19. Following the trend of her three previous albums — “19,” “21” and “25” — the album will be titled “30” after the time of her life she wrote the songs about.
According to Adele, “30” is unlike her other albums in that the other albums were about how others had affected her life, while the new album focuses on her divorce and how she is affecting her son’s life.
Vogue reports that Adele’s son, Angelo, began to ask her tough questions about the divorce like, “Why can’t we still live together?” and “Why don’t you love my dad anymore?” The album became a way for Adele to explain things to Angelo.
“I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness,” Adele told British Vogue. “It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”
If “Easy on Me” is any indicator, “30” is sure to be full of ballads candidly exploring complex emotions, as only Adele can. And, based on Adele’s stardom and previous track record, we can expect the album to break streaming records, win awards and revolutionize the music industry.
Meanwhile, I’ll be setting an alert on my phone for November 19 and streaming “Easy on Me” on repeat until I can finally experience the album I’ve been waiting six years for.