At the beginning of Adele’s new album 30, highlights the voice memos from her son, Angelo, asking him some important questions about life. In “I drink wine”, it is your turn. By asking those questions, Adele has written one of the best songs of her now famous career, a beautiful powerful ballad that sees a pop deity descend to Earth.
In its Rolling Stone On the cover, the singer-songwriter compared the song to the songwriters association of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and it’s an apt description. There is a chorus-singing quality to the tune, both for pubs and stadiums. In the first verse, she examines the happiness and curiosity that she has lost as she grows older and becomes a working woman. “When I was a child, everything could blow my mind / Soak it all up for fun, but now I just drink wine,” she sings.
According to the chorus, he has a plan: he will overcome himself in a way that allows him not to take life or his loved ones for granted. She also wants to ignore criticism, whether from other people or herself. It is such a universally attractive feeling, as profound as Adele discovers that there are no easy solutions to the existential problems she has raised.
Adele wrote the song for herself and her friend, during a time when she took things very personally. The lyrics allowed him to explain why he needed to evolve a little more to be present in their friendship. A different friend named Jed had suggested to Adele that she start recording her moments of doubt, and one of those conversations about her regrets and her relationship with memory comes at the end of the song.
“But because of that period of time, even though it was a lot of fun, I couldn’t go on and create new memories with him,” he says in the voice recording of the most “turbulent” period of his life. “There were only memories in a big storm.”
And as with Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well,” there is a much longer version of “I Drink Wine” out there, with Adele originally clocking 15 minutes on the track. Unfortunately, they told him to narrow it down to around six. “[The label] It was like, ‘Listen, everyone loves you, but no one’s playing a 15-minute song on the radio.’
As long as Adele is ready to drop the raw shot of “I Drink Wine (15-Minute Version) (From the Vault),” we’ll be here.
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