Adele talks about coming back to Earth at '30' Morning Edition's Rachel Martin talks to Adele about her latest album and the growing pains of growing older.

Adele talks coming back to Earth at '30'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Everyone is talking about Adele's divorce.


ADELE: (Singing) Go easy on me, baby.

MARTIN: Her separation from former husband Simon Konecki made headlines around the world, and it was the focus of her interview with Oprah this past weekend that 10 million people tuned in to see. It is also the subject of her new album, called "30," which is out today. In it, we hear Adele talking directly with her young son about this big change in their lives.


ADELE: Mummy's been having a lot of big feelings recently.


ADELE: Just like - I feel a bit confused.


ADELE: I don't know. And I feel like I don't really know what I'm doing.

I made a conscious decision from when I was pregnant, really, you know, when he was born to always show my emotions to him and, you know, and not lie because they see through everything, kids. Like, they know. They just - they feel it, like, you know. And in that, by me being so open and honest with him, he's - we're so close. And he never hides his feelings about anything.

MARTIN: You know, a lot of breakup albums about ending a relationship are about the feeling of being left and the heartbreak of being left. Or the other option is maybe we're both sad, and we're both moving on to a better place. This is not either of those things. You are owning this. You are the one doing the leaving.

ADELE: I think, you know, a lot of people tend to think that the person that leaves a relationship or leaves a marriage is fine. That's not the case at all, not that I ever expected to feel like that. Like, I - it was - you know, it was one of the biggest decisions I've had to ever make in my life. And it was a lot for me to forgive myself for doing something like that, you know? But definitely, a few times where I was like, do I really think that the grass is greener somewhere else? - 'cause it never bloody is.

MARTIN: Right, right.

ADELE: You know...

MARTIN: Right.

ADELE: ...Like, it never is. So yeah, that definitely cropped up a few times, being like, have I maybe made a mistake? I don't know. But you know, that was in the sort of, like, the thickness of the turmoil of me thinking about, you know, whether or not to do what I did.

MARTIN: You told Oprah in your interview with her that Simon saved your life. Can you explain what that means?

ADELE: Everything always seemed to change a lot when I was growing up. But he is just a tree. He's like a 300-year-old tree with roots that spread for miles, you know. And I felt safe - very, very safe, and no one had ever given me that before.

MARTIN: At the same time, there's a line from one of the songs on the new album which is called "Woman Like Me." And the line is...

ADELE: That song's not about Simon. I saw some reviews last night.

MARTIN: Is it not?

ADELE: The only song that's about Simon is "Easy On Me." I would never write a song like "Woman Like Me" about my kid's dad. Are you mad?

MARTIN: Well, it's pretty devastating, right.


ADELE: (Singing) You ain't never had, ain't never had a woman like me. It is so sad a man like you could be so lazy.

It is so passive aggressive. I love it.


MARTIN: Wait. Then who's that about?

ADELE: It's about someone I was thinking about dating who just did not step up. You think I'm going to leave a marriage and end up with your behavior? Shut up (laughter).


ADELE: (Singing) All you do is complain about decisions you make. How can I help lift you if you refuse to activate the life that you truly want?

MARTIN: There's a lyric from the song "To Be Loved" where you sing this - I will choose to lose.


ADELE: (Singing) It's a sacrifice, but I can't live a lie. Let it be known - let it be known that I tried.

MARTIN: Is it hard not to care how other people judge your choices?

ADELE: That let it known that I tried lyric was more because - there was so many stories that were written about why we broke up, like anyone [expletive] knew. No one knew. It was more of me just being, no actually, this is my story, and this is how I felt, and this is how extreme it was.


ADELE: (Singing) Trying to lean into it all. Ain't it funny how the mighty fall?

MARTIN: So you've obviously evolved a lot just as a human in the last few years. But...

ADELE: Yeah, thank God.


MARTIN: What do you think this album shows us about how you've evolved as a - as an artist, as a singer?

ADELE: I definitely think that my voice has matured. But I also think that my delivery on the album is because of the lyrics and what I'm singing about. I definitely don't feel the need to wail all the time anymore. Like, there's no - my lower register on this album shines more than...

MARTIN: Right?

ADELE: ...On any other record, I think.


ADELE: (Singing) I'll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart for all of my lovers in the present and in the dark.

MARTIN: You're not always reaching for those, like, super amazing...

ADELE: (Vocalizing).

MARTIN: I mean, it's pretty awesome when it happens (laughter), let's be honest. But there's so much diversity on here. What was your intention behind the variety of the sound of this album?

ADELE: It was so up and down, you know, how I felt. And I think that the sort of display of and variety of styles on the album sort of is a musical representation of where my head was at, to be honest with you.


ADELE: It was this, and it was that, and then it was this. It was all like whiplash.


ADELE: (Singing) When I walk in a room, I'm invisible. I feel like a ghost.

MARTIN: You've said this is the last album you're going to title after your age. How come?

ADELE: Do you know what? I've - well, one thing I have really bloody learned is I'm going to change my mind all the time. You know, I think the age thing is a bloody good idea. It's an easy bloody idea. And so I might - you know, I might keep going with it, or I might not. I don't know.

MARTIN: Hey, this is me, and I get to make my own choices, you know.

ADELE: Exactly. It's my album. I'll call it what I want.

MARTIN: Right.


ADELE: (Singing) Cry your heart out.

MARTIN: Adele - the new album, "30," is out today.

It was really fun to talk to you. Thanks for making the time.

ADELE: Thank you so much, and happy holidays.

MARTIN: Yeah - and to you. Take good care, lady.

ADELE: Thank you, darling. Bye.


ADELE: (Singing) Cry your heart out. Clean your face.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.