“Hello, it’s me”, crooned Adele as she surprised fans with a 30-second teaser during an advert break on last Sunday’s The X Factor; this sparked the first speculation of Adele’s imminent return, and I loved how for being so attention-seeking she managed to remain down to earth. Not only did it air after a pizza advert, an irony that Adele herself alluded to when on air with Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, but I feel it’s quite witty to open your first song in 3 years with such words. With Adele, it feels like a greeting from an old friend, reminding us that she never truly left even when she chose to temporarily step out of the limelight.
It was this interview on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw on Friday that confirmed her homecoming; ‘Hello’ is Adele’s first single since the Oscar-award winning ‘Skyfall’ in 2012, which was released as the soundtrack to the Bond film of the same name. I can’t help but feel that another irony, or at least a parallel, lies here – it seems a little too convenient that Adele makes a comeback as soon as Sam Smith releases ‘Spectre’ for the new Bond film, reminding everyone who the true British diva is.
it feels like a greeting from an old friend
‘Hello’ is Adele’s answer to the inevitable pressure centered around a comeback following on from the success of 21, which has sold 30 million copies world-wide. Adele has spoken about how she chose to take her time, wanting to surprise people and not just say something for the sake of it as she knew she could never really attempt to follow the phenomenal success of 21. This pressure made her nervous as to how fans would react to ‘Hello’, but I really don’t feel like Adele has anything to fear – it’s practically inevitable that it is going to be a huge commercial success. The single is quintessentially Adele, a big ballad that pulls at the heartstrings – so, although it offers no surprises, it is satisfying and the chorus stays with you after just one listen. This makes it perfect for those sing-a-long sessions we can’t pretend we didn’t do with ‘Someone like you’ and ‘Turning Tables’ too.
However, it does show some maturity and development as an artist as the story behind the song makes it differ from her previous work. Rather being about painful breakups as we have come to expect from Adele, the lyrics are an apology for breaking someone’s heart – ‘Hello’ is about trying to contact her ex, to ‘heal’ what time hasn’t managed to do. An open letter that Adele wrote to fans on Wednesday is suggestive that this is to be the common theme for 25, seeing it as a make-up rather than a break-up album as she has grown from the heartache and bitterness of 21.
Either way, ‘Hello’ is a much appreciated return from Adele, a beautiful song which obviously means a lot to her – she got teary hearing it played on Radio 1 – so I can’t wait to see what else Adele has to share with us when 25 is released next month. Personally, I’m hoping for Dixon from 90210 to appear in the music video for each single (perhaps this his big comeback too?!?), but maybe that’s just me…