Spinning Twelves: “Easy on Me”

Welcome to the third installment of Spinning Twelves, an A&E column where we’ll be reviewing and talking about new singles from our favorite artists. We’ll also be taking reader suggestions for songs to check out and review!

After a six-year hiatus from the music industry, Adele finally returned on Oct. 15 and released “Easy On Me”. The 15-time Grammy-award winner brought back her soulful pop sound in an emotional ballad that begins low and builds as it progresses. By the end, Adele belts out the titular plea, reminding the world of the powerful voice that has set her apart from the rest of the pop landscape over the course of her career. In many ways, this song does not deviate from Adele’s older work. They all have the same combination of longing and heartbreak sung over a piano instrumental. For many other musical artists, following such a well-worn path would be difficult to sell time and time again. Fortunately, the rules do not apply for a hitmaker like Adele. After spending so much time awaiting her return, “Easy On Me” reminds fans why they love her music so much. Hearing this new song on the radio brings back memories of older albums, but also heralds a new time in Adele’s life and music going forward.

During this new era, Adele has had to reflect changes in her life while also staying true to her trademark sound. “Easy On Me” is a testament to this balancing act because it reflects the old, the new, and the change of life all at once. It is full of emotion and vulnerability, which are cornerstones of an impactful Adele song. Her repertoire often touches on devastating breakups, moments in life she regrets, and the feeling of nostalgia as time continues to slip by. Still, Adele hits a new level of personal in “Easy On Me,” as she discusses the decision to leave her marriage: a difficult choice even without a young son, 11 years of history, and critique from the  public. In this song, Adele uses her spotlight to show her thoughts during this turbulent time. “I had no time to choose what I chose to do, so go easy on me,” she asks, of both her son and the world at large. She pleas for compassion from those who might judge or question, and in doing so, she invites the world to witness this painful moment.

“Easy On Me” stays true to Adele’s signature sound, but her vocals and lyrics have only grown stronger. During her time away, she matured and found a way to elegantly instill her newfound perspective into music that moves people. Adele packed so much raw feeling into one song that it is difficult to imagine what might come next, but “Easy On Me” is just the beginning. Her highly anticipated new album, “30,” will be released on Nov. 19. As of now, “Easy On Me” is the only indication of what the album will contain, but the lead single has laid down a strong foundation. The song is beautiful, emotional, and only the beginning of a new chapter for the artist. The world is watching to see what “30” has in store, and if the breathtaking vocals and heartfelt lyrics on “Easy On Me” are of any indication, the old Adele is back and she still has more to say.

Grade: A
Artists: Adele
Release Date: Oct. 15, 2021

Image courtesy of The Harvard Crimson.