Undoubtedly, it is breakup season. Left, right, and centre, couples have been calling it quits – unfortunately, myself included. However, when my three-year long relationship ended, I tried to think of the positives, and I realised that I could fully indulge myself in and relate to the breakup albums that were scheduled for release this month.
Apt for sad girl autumn, Taylor Swift rereleased her iconic 2012 album, Red, now Red (Taylor’s Version), and Adele has made a comeback with the highly anticipated release of 30. Both albums have not shied away from the fact they were created out of heartbreak. When asked in an Instagram Live what the album would be about, Adele answered with her now iconic phrase, “Divorce babes, divorce.” Listeners were already aware that Red was written after Taylor Swift’s infamous relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, despite no official confirmation, just hints picked up on by keen-eyed Swifties, such as the scarf.
she explains her divorce to her son and how it is affecting her mental health
For me, the standout of 30 was not the global success single, “Easy on Me” but instead “Oh my God” took over my thoughts and dreams. The Mariah Carey inspired whistle-tones live in my head rent-free and they clearly show the range that Adele’s voice has – as if we did not know that already. She has proven to the world once again why she is one of the best-selling music artists of the 21st century.
Another song that is notable for me is the third track on the album, “My Little Love”, in which Adele displays her raw emotions with overlaid audio tracks. In the audio, she explains her divorce to her son and how it is affecting her mental health, as well as seemingly talking right to the listener. She states, “I’m having a bad day, I’m having a very anxious day. I feel very paranoid, I feel very stressed.” She further continues to open up to the listener, and her voice starts to break as she begins to cry. She says, “I feel like today is the first day since I left that I feel lonely. And I never feel lonely, I love being on my own, I always preferred being on my own than being with people.”
The pure, raw emotion demonstrated on this track hit me hard when I first listened to it, as it reminded me of how I felt in the days straight after my breakup, or how I still sometimes feel. I have anxiety which I take medication for, but I still get incredibly anxious. I am an introvert that loves my own company, but I felt incredibly lonely. It was difficult having to adjust to a new way of life, without someone who was usually always there, after having gotten used to a certain way of living.
As if I was not already in awe of Adele, this song amplifies the love that I had for her. She is known and loved for being unapologetic, intimate, and open with her audience, having a great sense of humour, and being all around kickass. But she struggles like a regular person and these two highlighted songs show that and much more.
Moving onto Red (Taylor’s Version), I must admit I am a huge Swiftie. I worship the ground Taylor Swift walks on. Those who know me personally have probably seen my array of Taylor Swift stickers that are on my laptop (and have probably made a comment or two about them). So, I was eagerly anticipating the re-release of Red, and had been since the announcement in June. Red contains some of my favourite songs of Taylor’s, including ‘The Lucky One’ and ‘All Too Well’, so I was excited to listen to the new and improved versions that she finally owned. I could listen to them without feeling guilty about giving money to Scooter Braun.
The clear standout of the album is no other than the 10 minute long version of “all too well”
In this album, Taylor has a much more mature voice and improved enunciation. The maturity provides further depth to heart-breaking songs such as “The Last Time” and “Begin Again”, and it is wonderful to hear Taylor reflect on her past experiences with more awareness and understanding in her older years. However, the album is not all sadness and heartbreak. I feel blessed to have heard a 31-year-old Taylor utter the iconic line, “Who is Taylor Swift anyway? Ew,” in the iconic song “22”, which has become an anthem for everyone when they reach that age. The clear standout of the album though, which has become the longest song to be number one on the Billboard charts, is no other than the 10 minute long version of “All Too Well”. I’m not ashamed to say that I have learnt the lyrics to the whole thing, due to the sheer amount of times I have listened to it since the album release. Despite my relationship ending on mutual terms and having no bad blood towards my ex-partner (“Bad Blood” – get it?), I still sang and cried to the line, “And maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much, but maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up.”
As I continue to navigate a new way of life post-breakup, which has actually been easier than anticipated, I am lucky to have the lyrical genius of both Adele and Taylor Swift to aid my emotional healing and development. I will continue to wrap myself up in my weighted blanket, drink multiple cups of tea – or gin, if I’m feeling decadent – and cry to these incredible albums.