Updated: Nov 24, 2021
As a person who was once consumed by the opinions of either strangers I interacted with online or my family who've known me my whole life, it took me a while to get the hang of having thick skin by appraising who was sharing the opinion and to what end taking it to heart would serve me. Would it feed into research for my self-improvement, or should it be ignored?
Twitter has become this microcosm of thought classism, where we want to have discourse on just about every subject we can think of. The trolling, the ratios, and the sessions of someone getting cooked often reveal more about the characters of those doing the think pieces than it does the miracle workers who can sit idly by and do nothing.
I remember when Adele's Easy On Me came out. As expected, the think pieces flew. If it wasn't commentary on Adele's weight loss affecting or not affecting her voice (most not being privy to the fact that she has had voice surgery and quit smoking), it was how Adele doesn’t move out of her niche of ballads which is stumping her growth. There was also the insinuation that she doesn’t appeal to the Tik Tok generation (she addressed this in her interview with Zane Lowe).
My favorite culprit is the nostalgia fanbase: the crowd that loves 21 and 25 and speculated on whether or not 30 would have the same emotional punch as its chart-topping predecessors. The economics of Adele can't even be debated; the metrics and algorithms are already surging with incredible numbers.
There is a gift and curse in branding yourself a certain way. 30 is more for Adele and her son, for him to understand why his parents aren’t together. It's for her healing above all else. The issue that arises from us not being able to heal from our own traumas because the circumstances are ongoing or because we just don't want to let go is we project onto artists by forcing them to hold onto their pasts.
This is how record labels attempted to sign Yebba at the height of her mother’s death. We have a system where an artist's spiritual and healing powers become commodities and are reduced to the public's scrutiny. Of course, I understand that once the process of creation is done and you decide to be a commercial artist, the album doesn't belong to you anymore and is subject to scrutiny. However, we should gauge the substance of our opinions.
Are you ready to listen to 30 if Adele is saying she isn't going down the same heartbreak road as she did with 19, 21, and 25, but is transitioning into healing with an even stronger emotional force? If you’re not in that headspace, should you really form an opinion or listen to the album at all?
For instance, you might buy the iconic Eat, Pray, Love book by Elizabeth Gilbert at 21 and decide to not read it until 40 when the experiences chronicled are more relatable. In this same vein, Adele's new album will make more sense to those with shared experiences and those who are healing in general than to those who enjoy the flair of sensationalism.
The show-stopping rollout has been met with approving commentary which has made 30 a premiere event primed to trend. Amid "Hey stranger" and "I think it's time we let go" messages as well as anxious speculation on what to expect, the underlying theme of the rollout is dressing the wound, accountability, and coming to terms with our pain. So before you press play, you may want to ask, “Am I actually ready to heal?”
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