The Real Meaning Behind Adele's Wild Wild West

The wait is finally over! On November 19, Adele made her long-anticipated return to music with the unveiling of "30." She introduced the project and ushered in a new era of "Sad Girl Autumn" with its soaring lead single "Easy On Me" last month. The track — written with producer Greg Kurstin (via Spotify) — addresses her recent divorce and features a plea for understanding from listeners. "Go easy on me, baby," she fragilely croons on the chorus. "I was still a child / didn't get the chance to feel the world around me."

To the surprise of literally no one, "Easy On Me" utterly dominated the charts upon release. The song has held strong at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Meanwhile, the inescapable anthem has spent five weeks in the pinnacle position on the Official Singles Chart in the United Kingdom. Sounds pretty legendary if you ask us. Luckily, the rest of "30" — the singer's first album since 2015's "25" — is every bit as strong.

At the time of publishing, the album had a rating of 90 percent on Metacritic with overwhelmingly positive reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times. That makes for her strongest rated release on the system (via Metacritic). Fans on Twitter are also shouting out some of their favorite tracks. That appears to include the elusive "Wild Wild West," which is a bonus track on the Target deluxe edition of the album.

Wild Wild West addresses Adele's divorce

As a bonus track, Adele's new song "Wild Wild West" is all the more appealing due to its exclusivity. Thus far, the only people who have heard it in full are those who picked up the physical album from Target. However, fans shared several snippets online that offer a hint at what to expect. Suffice to say it is a far cry from the piano balladry of "Easy On Me" (via Twitter). Based on what we've heard (and the lyrics on Genius) the song is a moody bop addressing her divorce.

"I grew a nipper in the wild, wild west / And for a while I was at my best / So much so that I got hitched in a big white dress / but all it did was make me so sad and stressed," she sings on the opening lines. According to Urban Dictionary, "nipper" is slang for a child popular in southern England. This appears to be a reference to her giving birth to her son Angelo and marrying her former husband Simon Konecki. They had their son together in 2012 (via Billboard), married in 2018, and split in 2019 (via E! Online).

While Adele candidly discusses depression in the opening lines, the pre-chorus is a testament to her "backbone of steel." "Don't push me once or I'll shoot a look that will kill / Don't waste your time when I've got a backbone of steel," she warns. Oh snap!

Adele worked on Wild Wild West with Ludwig Göransson

Adele reunited with several trusted collaborators on the tracklist of "30." Greg Kurstin, who lent his writing and production prowess to the singer's indomitable "Hello" previously, returned to write on several songs including "Easy On Me" and "I Drink Wine." Pop juggernaut Max Martin (think Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off") lent his powerful pen to "Can I Get It." He previously worked with Adele on "Send Me Love (To Your New Lover)" (via Evening Standard).

She also brought on a team of several first-time collaborators. That included Ludwig Göransson, who wrote and produced both "Wild Wild West" and the album opener "Strangers By Nature" (via Pitchfork). They've never worked together before; however, you're likely familiar with some of Göransson's work. Evening Standard noted that the Swedish creator received an Academy Award for his work on the "Black Panther" score. He's also partnered with the likes of Childish Gambino, Alicia Keys and Haim on previous projects.

The "Rolling In The Deep" icon gushed about Göransson in an interview with The Face. "He's the coolest guy. There's something about the Scandinavians that's different. I don't know where they get their f***ing ideas from, but they are incredible." Clearly they mined creative depths together, and their chemistry is on full display on one of the new album's most beguiling (and hard to find) numbers.

Adele's divorce is the topic of discussion for several songs on 30

Adele opened up about her divorce in the lyrics of both "Easy On Me" and "Wild Wild West." She hinted to British Vogue that she'd delve deeply into the topic across the album. Why? The hitmaker said her goal was to explain her feelings so her son Angelo would one day understand why she made the choices she did in life.

"My son has had a lot of questions. Really good questions, really innocent questions, that I just don't have an answer for," she said. For instance, he wondered why their family couldn't still live together after the divorce. "I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he's in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that's a real wound for me that I don't know if I'll ever be able to heal."

She told Vogue that although it addresses her divorce, the album is not a divorce album. "He's not one of my exes," she said of Simon Konecki. "He's the dad of my child." She added that "30" is "more me divorcing myself," and that it was extremely personal. "This is my album. I want to share myself with everyone, but I don't think I'll ever let this one go."