Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come: Adele is back.
After five long years without a peep from the songstress, she surprised the world Friday by announcing the release date of her third studio album “25,” which is set to drop Nov. 20.
Adele’s first promotional single, “Hello,” became available to the public last Friday, accompanied by a music video which showcases the artist in all of her sultry, sepia-toned glory. The “Hello” music video broke Taylor Swift’s record for most video views in 24 hours.
“Hello,” as expected, is another heart-breaking ballad. But while “Hello” might be dismissed as just another breakup song upon first listen, the artist has made it clear she is singing to her former self, expressing sentiments of regret and a desire to reconnect with those from her past.
“Hello, can you hear me?” she asks in the song. “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.”
Although Adele stuns with a smoky, powerhouse voice, her true power is found in her ability to craft lyrics in a way that captures the complexity and delicacy of emotional events.
She is able to tap into those universal, difficult-to-express feelings — fear of change and growing older, loss of one’s sense of self, regret — and does so in a way that is relatable and heartfelt.
Everyone has a fear of growing older. When we are young, we spend an awful lot of time thinking about the future — whether it is trying to pick a major, deciding whether or not to attend grad school, or finding a job. We worry about trivial things, and often forget to enjoy the freedoms of being young and having options.
Adele is speaking to this notion, wishing she had spent more time enjoying where she was rather than striving to grow up too quickly.
The chorus hook, “hello from the other side,” suggests the vast difference between Adele’s two life stages. Adele has made it. She is an adult, a mother, a success. But now that she has these roles, she is not sure where to go from here.
Time passes regardless of what one does with it. Adele acknowledges that “the both of us are running out of time.” She is sensing her age, encouraging herself, as well as all of us, to make the most of it and to live while we are young.
On Facebook last Wednesday, Adele released a personal statement to her fans.
“My last record was a breakup record, and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make up record,” she said in the statement. “I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did.”
She also explained the significance of the album’s title.
“Turning 25 was a turning point for me,” she said. “Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever.”
Adele’s most recent album, “21,” was released in 2011. It won her seven Grammys and anchored her in superstardom. She also won an Oscar for her James Bond theme song, “Skyfall,” in 2012.
But, after giving birth to her now three-year-old son, Angelo, with her partner Simon Konecki, Adele took a hiatus and even contemplated leaving the music world permanently.
This album, an 11-track collection, acts as a retrospective piece for the artist as she comes to terms with her new role as superstar and young mother.
For now, the world awaits the remainder of Adele’s record.
While little is known about its content, one thing is certain: it is going to be an emotional journey.