Who Is Adele Singing To In Her New Single? Dissecting The “Hello” Lyrics…
Who is Adele singing to in her new single “Hello”? The first single from “25” premiered this morning, October 23rd, and after having heard it at least 100 times, read reviews about it online – most of them positive – and watched endless reaction videos on Vine and Facebook of fans either fainting or crying like babies while listening to “Hello” (as the stars of MTV’s “Laguna Beach” would say: so much drama!), the time has some to get serious and analyze what Adele is singing about in her new single. So let’s dissect the lyrics.
Before starting, it’s important to remember that Adele’s last two albums (“19” and “21”) were inspired by old relationships of the British singer – all of them had tragic endings if you didn’t know…! In the case of “21”, Adele’s most successful album to date, the ex that allegedly inspired it sued Adele for using his story for her album and mocking him demanding the mother of one a percentage of the royalties of the album’s sales as reparation.
So, what or who was the inspiration for “25”? Another ex lover of Adele? This would be the first theory, right? Well, it might be that this time the answer is "no", that’s right! Surprised?
When one hears “Hello” indeed the first thing that comes to mind is that Adele is singing about an ex. But if we read between the lines of the letter Adele published this week, a couple of days before the world premiere of “Hello”, on her official website where she explained a bit the theme of her new album “25”, we find the following;
"My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully fledged adult."
For me the key part is the sentence “Making up for everything I ever did and never did”. I feel like “25” is a sort of a catharsis for Adele. I feel like instead of singing again about old love relationships with tragic endings that affected her life, Adele is singing this time about herself, don’t you think? Mainly about how everything she’s lived shortly before turning 25, an age that she gives much importance in the letter she made public this week, has marked her for good or for bad. Of course love is fundamental in her life, but I think love and heart-break aren’t the only things that the theme of “25” is about. This time there’s something more. It’s as if Adele is using “25” to expiate her sins, or simply accepting them and saying sorry. Apologizing to the old Adele, the Adele that perhaps would have handled things differently and hadn’t made mistakes that affected the lives of other people, for instance.
Let’s dissect the lyrics of “Hello”
Hello? It's me.
I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet.
To go over, everything.
They say that time supposed to heal you but I ain't done much healing.
This is how “Hello” starts. Is she calling an ex? Or, is she calling the Adele from the past?
True that in the music video of “Hello” there’s a male co-star that in theory plays the role of the ex Adele is allegedly singing about, but there’s the possibility that this was an imposition of the label, who wishes that people think that “Hello”, and by default the rest of songs in “25”, speaks about heart-break because the executives of XL Recordings and Columbia Records believe that this theme sells more. But what happens if Adele is in reality referring to other things?
Hello? Can you hear me?
I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger, and free.
I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet.
There's such a difference between us
And a million miles.
Another call and this time Adele narrates how time and the vicissitudes of life change the vital path of people. Is Adele singing about an ex lover? Again my personal answer is that “no”; a categorical “no”. It’s my belief that Adele is speaking to the Adele from yesteryear. Maybe a more innocent Adele, one that didn’t look further than required.
Hello? How are you?
It's so typical of me to talk about myself, I'm sorry.
I hope, that you're well.
Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened.
It's no secret that the both of us
Are running out of time.
“Did you ever make it out of that town?”, ha! Come on Adele, of course you made it out of your town. Now you live in the posh suburbs of London, where there’s not so much smog that affect your vocal chords, in a nice house with all the conveniences of the world. Now, it's true that everything you have you’ve worked hard for.
For me in this verse Adele is trying to describe her personality somewhat (“It's so typical of me to talk about myself”) and somehow congratulate herself, with some irony, for everything she’s achieved.
So, hello from the other side.
I must have called a thousand times
To tell you I'm sorry for everything that I've done.
But when I called, you never seem to be home.
Hello from the outside.
At least I can say that I tried
To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart.
But it don't matter, it clearly doesn't tear you apart anymore.
Adele gives up, after so many “calls” to the Adele from many years ago, in the sense that she realizes that it’s worthless to look back and trying to amend the mistakes that have no remedy anymore. “At least I can say that I tried”, she sings. Somehow Adele finds the “closure” she was looking for with the past and realizes that the only place she can go is forward.