Adele put on her sad suit. And the world swooned.

Gather round, Peoplleaneous. I want to talk about Adele’s new song, “Hello.” Here’s the video for it…you may as well give it a listen before I tell you what I think about it:

Like many depressed or even just sad women in a certain age bracket, I loved Adele’s 21 album. Talk about catharsis and angst. I bled so many emotions out of my tearducts, I’m surprised I didn’t end up in the hospital recovering from dehydration and extreme heartsickness.

Adele’s voice was beautiful and fresh and haunting. Some of her songs could have been written by me (emotionally, meaningfully – but not beautifully as she). Adele broke stereotypes and records. Adele broke barriers and hearts.

But here’s where I’m uncomfortable. The whole world seems stuck with its initial impressions of Adele and her music. (Look, I realize there was an album prior to 21, but 21 is when most of us were introduced with her.)

I’ve just heard the one song off the new album 25 thus far: “Hello.” Quite frankly, I’m underwhelmed. It’s beautiful. Adele is beautiful. Her voice is beautiful. The song is sad and angsty, full of longing and heartache. But those feelings don’t connect. And I think I know why. Or at least I can hypothesize.

Adele isn’t those things anymore. Adele isn’t full of longing and heartache and angst. She’s a newlywed (well, not so much anymore…but since the sadness of 21, she is) and a new mother. Yes, spare me the “newlyweds and new moms can suffer heartache and pain as well.” I’m quite aware of that, thank you very much.

Listening to the new song, I just don’t feel it. There’s no emotional impact for me as there was with some of her earlier songs. This one is simpler and far less powerful than previous ballads. Perhaps I’m being too hard on Adele, but previous songs blew me away. This didn’t come close. And if this is the the lead single, I’m not hopeful that the rest of the album will, either.

These are the thoughts that came to me as I listened to this song (several times through): She isn’t sad anymore. I can feel her faking it. She doesn’t mean what she’s singing. Her voice is no less beautiful, but the power is gone because she doesn’t fucking mean it. Adele and her producers knew what sold last time and wanted to replicate those successes. So they put Adele in her Sad Suit, tooled around with some of her older and better songs (think “Someone Like You” and “Don’t You Remember”), and they put her back on stage to mime her old sadness at us.

Does it still beat the shit out of 83.2% of the current market she’s competing in? Certainly. I’m not saying she’s suddenly without talent. But what I am saying is that it gets under my skin when the whole fucking world – supposed serious music critics included – refuses to actually critique her work. I mean, for fucks sake, the damn song is roughly SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT CHORUS. That is unacceptable from someone we should be holding to a higher standard.

If you’ve grown and your life and perspectives have changed or shifted (which naturally could have by now), then your music should still reflect what’s inside you. If we can’t grow with you, then you’ll find new fans that do.

This isn’t Katy Perry spinning another club song or some boy band telling girls they’re pretty just the way they are, wash, rinse, repeat on every single track. This is someone who told stories and moved us with her heart. Don’t put on a fucking sad suit and start wash, rinse, repeating that shit. It’s beneath you, and it’s an insult to those of us who are paying attention.

Come on, man. We can do better than that.

Can’t we?

~

On another note, I’ll be watching that video at least once more for that nice piece of eye candy. And I’m not talking about Adele. Hello.

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40 thoughts on “Adele put on her sad suit. And the world swooned.

  1. I agree with you on this. I love Adele, her album 21 could have been a soundtrack to my life! I was so excited for her new single and sad to admit I wasn’t really feeling it. And yes feels like 80% of the song is the word Hello!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *sigh* Okay, Steph, you’ll need to introduce me to Adele. Don’t know her work for shit. But I can tell you a couple of things about the music industry.

    Yes, she’s probably been pigeon-holed. That happens. A lot. She may have been rushed into this album and not had time to work on it. She may be under contract and FORCED to do the album, even tho she doesn’t have much to say. She might have given too much on 21; it’s easy to do in the studio, and then gigging live becomes a fucking nightmare because you’ve got this 110% recorded performance to live up to. Better to record at 80% of what you’ve got, then shine on the nights you do it live. She may have burned herself out BAD on tour. Been ill. She may have postpartum depression.

    Didn’t want to make you feel bad, just point out some truths behind all that glitter and shine. Enjoy 21; play this release once in a while but not as often. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, no. You aren’t making me feel bad…I love good conversation and seeing other facets. The thing is, I still respect her – her talent and her skill. She has a gorgeous voice and the skill to use it to such epic effect.

      I can’t imagine the rigor and the fucking pressure! People screaming at you from all sides, pushing, pulling, demanding, criticizing.

      It’s just been so weird to me to hear people talk about her like she can do no wrong. I love music reviews and critiques (thoughtful ones). I’m not always so thoughtful in my own – I may say I “love” or “hate” something. But when I read comments from supposed legit music reviewers, I get aggravated when they’re openly biased. Ya know? Pet peeve. But that’s all media, so I’m not surprised…just miffed.

      I thought – am I being an asshole? Is this song the best thing since padded headboards and sliced bread? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head here- it just doesn’t feel as passionate or authentic as 21 did. It’s a really good song, but it just feels like something is missing, and I think it’s because she has been placed in this spot where her music is supposed to be one thing, but that’s not what she’s experiencing anymore. So I think you laid it out really well here!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love her 21 album ❤️. I’m kinda afraid to say this… But I love this song. Maybe because it resonates with me. I do agree with you that she doesn’t seem as connected to this song as she did with the 21 album. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love Adele’s songs that I heard before, and I really don’t feel like anything is new here . I agree that the video is easy on the eyes. Her voice is spot on and tremendous as ever. It’s the material. She kind of did it already.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this song and can’t wait to hear the rest of the album…My husband didn’t care for the album…I love her voice….I don’t think there is a song I don’t like of hers….thanks I didn’t know the album( who that is a faux pas, I meant CD..LOL). was out…thanks for sharing, I have listened to this song about 4 times already…LOL Happy Samhins my witch friend…..kat

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I ❤ Adele and her music. However, I noticed how chorus driven this number was. I was sensing that perhaps they knew that "shtick…" was good the first few times she's forced into a certain box when writing new songs with producers. It's interesting how creativity drives people, and then they are still obligated to get critiqued and ok'ed from the boss man whose hands are driving their pockets. I totally see your perspective!

    Like

  8. At the risk of sounding like an Adele fanboy: I like the song. A lot. Did it make me cry into my pillow and leave tear stains, or have me posting selfies on social media with said tears in my eyes? Uh, no. It is a good song, well sung. And while it may be 75% chorus, she hits that chorus with that sledgehammer of a voice.

    I always say that those singers who have make you feel something when they sing are the best singers. Adele is one of those singers.

    By the way, the eye candy in the video is a fella by the name of Tristan Wilds, who has been seen in such shows as The Wire (championed by a small horde as the best TV show ever) and the recently cancelled reboot of 90210. He also sings under the name Mack Wilds. Why Mack? I dunno…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dude, it totally IS one of the best TV shows ever. Holy shit, man. That reminds me that I haven’t finished it yet! And what! I didn’t know he was in that show. New reasons to start over and finally see it through to the end.

      I love Adele…but that song blows.

      Fanboy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or in windows. Staring at happy normal people with families and friends.

        Don’t worry. I don’t do that, either.

        I don’t.

        I’m serious.

        Why doesn’t anyone believe me?

        I swear to fuck that’s not what I’m doing outside your window.

        Like

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