BY KIM SMALL
After a three-year hiatus from the industry, British songstress, Adele, has returned with arguably the most successful hit to grace the airwaves. “Hello, it’s me.” Three simple words begin the year’s most massive hit and double as an introduction of Adele back onto the music scene.
The track entitled “Hello” has become the most downloaded debut in history, raking in over one million downloads in only its first week. “Hello” has now joined the ranks of three other number ones for Adele. Her previous tracks “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain” have also landed themselves in the top position for Billboard magazine.
The song begins with steady, melodic notes on piano that build up to the opening line. Adele’s voice starts out like a whisper on the track yet she manages to tie in depth with inflections as she sings in a soft, low voice. The song’s lyrics and supporting instrumentals paint a vivid picture in the listener’s mind.
“This is a complex piece of music,” said York College music professor Mark Adams. “It has such a great melody, a melody that one can walk away humming for years to come.”
The first verse comes across as the calm before the storm as the chorus delivers a punch. Swelling instrumentals of cymbals accompanied by the ever-present piano throughout the song come together in a climatic way for the catchy chorus.
“It’s what I’d expect from Adele,” said music major student Melanie Adams. “It’s similar to her other songs so I’m not blown away,” she continued.
Overall “Hello” runs in the same circle as songs featured on past Adele albums. “You can see where she tried to implement something new but you can still tell it’s Adele,” said York College graduate and former music major Steven Morris.
Canadian actor and filmmaker Xavier Dolan directed “Hello’s” music video—which shattered the VEVO record held previously by 2015 golden girl Taylor Swift for her single Bad Blood. The video managed to reach 27.7 million views in a 24-hour span compared to Swift’s 20.1 million. The six minute long vintage colored video gets back to what music videos should be about: telling a story that’s true to the song’s essence.
To date, the video has been viewed over three hundred million times worldwide. Co-starring actor and musician Tristan “Mack” Wilds as the love interest, the video for “Hello” reads like a short film, showing the rise and fall of a relationship between lovers. The video is reminiscent of “Someone Like You” in the artistic choice of coloring whereas the song is along the same vein of “Don’t You Remember,” both songs featured on her last album “21.”
Adele’s return to the music scene was sudden. The songstress created an Instagram account that led to buzz on the Internet for her comeback. Shortly after, “Hello” was released to the world.
The changing landscape of the music industry and how record sales are determined doesn’t appear to sway critics on this upcoming record’s potential earnings. According to Billboard, Adele’s latest studio album 25, projected sales ranking between 1.3 and 1.8 million in her first week. If sales land within that range, it will subsequently earn Adele the position of having the biggest female debut since the 1990s. That would be a significant increase from her last album’s sales. “21” garnered sales of 352,000 copies in its first week.
Adele’s third album “25” is set for release on November 20th.