Rolling in deep heartbreak once again: Adele's new album, 30, lands with a roar

Adele has released her long-awaited new album, 30, to the almost unanimous praise of critics.

Her fourth studio album after several years out of the limelight has already been called the singer’s best work.

The 33-year-old, from Tottenham, draws on her split from her ex-husband Simon Konecki in the "ferociously" honest tracks.

Adele said she was "embarrassed" by her divorce but the album is an attempt to explain the split to their son, with the third track incorporating some clips of her talking to the nine-year-old about the break-up.

The Brit Award and Grammy winner will star in a special ITV primetime concert filmed at the London Palladium, An Audience With Adele, on ITV on November 21.

Celebrating her initial success, Adele shared a photo on Twitter showing her in the recording studio with her hands thrown up in the air.

The image, which showed the singer sat next to a glass of white wine, was captioned: “It was a ride, so I threw my arms up and screamed! Love you all.”

Adele: What the critics are saying about her new album, 30

  • Will Hodgkinson gave the album four stars for the Times, writing that the album was full of “big drama”, adding that Adele had headed for an old-fashioned sound that recalled the golden age of Hollywood.

He added: “The result, possibly unavoidable now that she is a Beverly Hills-dwelling bona fide superstar, is a loss of the British girl-next-door quality that made Adele’s music so appealing in the first place.”

  • The Independent’s reviewer Annabel Nugent also gave the record four stars out of five, adding the album was more literal than her previous work, “Adele unmediated, Adele unfiltered.”

  • Mark Savage, of the BBC, judged the album as having “some of the strongest songs of her career” following her divorce.

He added: “That’s what makes it different from her first three albums. Songs like Hello and Someone Like You were all neatly tied up in the language of a lover done wrong, but on 30 everything is complex, messy and uncertain. There are no simple conclusions and no easy answers.”

  • Alexis Petridis, writing for the Guardian, gave 30 three stars, adding that there were moments where Adele was “pushing gently at the boundaries of what people expect”, but added that her divorce was a topic that swallowed 30 entirely.

“The world may recently have lurched from one unimaginable crisis to another, but Adele’s Easy On Me brought with it the message that at least one thing hasn’t changed: Adele Adkins is still heartbroken and belting it out over a gentle piano and tasteful orchestration.

“Producing an album that’s different from its predecessors, without being different enough to scare anyone off, is a not-unimpressive feat. Given their sales figures, you couldn’t blame Adele for declining to even tinker with a formula that clearly ain’t broke.”

  • Giving the album three stars, El Hunt for NME wrote the record felt “distinctly unlike anything she has done before”, recalling the likes of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.

“While Adele’s music is often charged with intense emotional sincerity, there’s an old-timey campiness here that seems intentional,” she added.

  • The Daily Telegraph’s Neil McCormick agreed, giving the album five stars.

“The songs are powerhouse, the performances bravura, the emotions intense as the British superstar wrings every last drop of heart and soul from tear-jerking ballads and triumphalist pop.

“Grappling with guilt, shame and insecurity over her recent divorce yet infused with a life-affirming sense of liberation, self-forgiveness and burgeoning new romance, Adele Adkins has made what might just be the most potent everywoman album since Carole King’s 1971 classic Tapestry.”

  • Similarly, Rolling Stone gave the album five stars, with Rob Sheffield writing: “Adele has never sounded more ferocious than she does on 30 – more alive to her own feelings. It’s her toughest, most powerful album yet.”