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22.10.2021

Easy On Me: A Road to Redemption?

Adele is back. It’s been six long years since the opening chords of ‘Hello’ echoed through my student house, and I was obviously one of the 12 million people who streamed her latest single, Easy On Me, within 12 hours of its release last Friday.

Adele is known for her beautiful, soulful voice as well as her human, vulnerable lyrics. And 30 looks to be no different, due for release on 19 November and already dubbed her ‘divorce album’. In a recent interview with Vogue, she described it as a means to explain to her son about ‘who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness’.

Blimey. No small ask for just a handful of songs.

I’ll be honest, when I read Adele’s interview, I felt my judgmental side kicking in, and I fully expected to be disappointed with her musical self-justification. But the more I’ve pondered and the more I’ve listened to her latest single the more I’ve related. I may not be divorced but I, like so many others – like Adele – have found myself in situations I regret. I have found myself forced to let go of things I cannot fix: ‘there ain’t no room for things to change / when we are both so deeply stuck in our ways’.

Adele’s lyrics, as ever, convey powerful imagery in an emotionally honest way. They capture the paradox of human existence in the light of free will: ‘I had no time to choose what I chose to do’. Whatever your views on divorce and separation, these lyrics are deeply relatable for many of us, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Perhaps more interesting, though, is Adele’s other description of 30: ‘I feel like this album is self-destruction, then self-reflection, and then sort of self-redemption’. Easy On Me’s video, moving from black and white to full colour over the course of the song, seemingly conveys this journey as well.

Self-destruction and self-reflection are profoundly relatable themes – self-destruction is written into our very being, self-reflection helps us to find a way forward… but self-redemption? I fear it is here that Adele will stumble, as so many have before. The Bible – and our own experience, no doubt – tells us that when we acknowledge, through self-reflection, that our destruction is often entirely our own doing, we find that redemption is not something we can reach alone.

That is – and always has been – the job of a saviour.

 

Alianore Smith
Church Partnerships Manager at International Justice Mission UK. She tweets as @alianoree.

 

Watch the music video for Easy On Me:

Image: Columbia Records

Comments

  1. As usual, Alianore, you entertain us, but get to the point and leave us with something important to chew over .

    Thankyou

    By Nick Dew  -  22 Oct 2021
  2. Thank you Alianoree, I always enjoy reading your work and I totally agree that our redemption is through Christ and Christ alone.

    By Rachel Williams  -  22 Oct 2021
  3. Such an thought provoking piece. Thank you. I have some friends who worship at the same church as Adele’s grandmother which I am told she has attended at times in the past. Interesting that she has this believing heritage…

    By Deborah Jenkins  -  26 Oct 2021
  4. I have never listened to any of her material and have no interest but have heard all about the album and context as its on all the media. As a Christian I naturally can’t agree with her attempt at “self-redemption”, as has been articulated above. Coming from a non-western background I find it hard to understand how an adult can be so self absorbed and leave all obligations behind for what seems an individual search for happiness. What a sad and lonely life, but one that is being portrayed, in some media at least, as “brave” etc.. Family obligations are one of the handholds God has given us to help us in life, even Christians. Yes, sometimes they a nagging pain! Not questioning her reasoning but the media’s portrayal of it all. What kind of society would it be if everyone made similar decisions in life? Anyway, I think its good that LICC gives a platform to discuss these societal issues and thanks Alianoree for raising this one.

    By Swaraj Jeyasingh  -  26 Oct 2021

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