Adele is Queen, there is no denying it. She pretty much broke the internet last weekend when she debuted her first new music in four years during a commercial break on The X Factor UK. The song, titled ‘Hello,’ simply featured her distinctive voice and piano backing, white lyrics appearing against a black screen. It lasted for 30 seconds with no prior announcement or mention of her name – but everyone knew.
It had been rumored that the new record would be called ’25’ and hit stores on November 20, and earlier this week her label Columbia confirmed that in a press release. The lead single ‘Hello’ also debuted in its full form online, with the music video following yesterday, October 22. And holy crap is it amazing. Here are 10 things we love about the song and video that had us hitting that replay button.
Remember when the sepia filter got added to our camera phones and we couldn’t get enough of making our pics look oh so authentic and old? Well, that seems to be the vibe Adele is going for with this video because the entire thing is in sepia. So. Nostalgic. And still cool.
2. Flip phones
Holy flip phones! If we’re looking into this and who the song could be about, it has to be someone she was involved with 10-12 years ago, because with sepia and flip phones that’s where we’re headed. Not only is Adele using one, but her love interest is as well. Move over iPhones, our true loves are here.
3. That eye flick
Adele has always been one classy lady, and her classic 50s eye flick complete with perfect false eyelashes has become iconic after the last two album covers. We see plenty of it in this video and we love it.
4. Her love interest is black
Yes, it may seem like a small and perhaps insignificant thing for 2015, but it’s still rare to see interracial couples and love interests in music videos. Plus, this guy is pretty easy on the eye, right ladies?
5. Just audible but indistinguishable conversation
Mostly if characters in a music video are having conversations, either their words are muted or the music is dropped down so we can hear what they’re saying. Here, however, the music stays at the same level, with just-audible sound from the conversations – not enough to tell what they’re saying, but enough to make them seem much more real, yet at the same time a distant memory, inspiring the lyrics.
6. Angst. So much angst.
Although Adele has referred to this coming record as a “make-up album,” there’s still a whole lot of angst on this song. But those deep, emotional songs are what she does best, and this really hits the mark.
7. Freeform, conversational lyrics
Just like a series of real phone conversations, the lyrics to ‘Hello’ are freeform, fitting the soulful nature of the delivery, and conversational – as if actual excerpts from voicemails she left. You don’t often hear songs written like that, and it makes the song so much more direct and personal.
8. A slow but gradual musical build
A lot of great pop songs build over time, but Adele knows how to do it really subtly. We start with piano and gentle vocals, and we finish with drums, tons of reverb, full harmonies and Adele killing it. Just the way we like it.
If you thought the likes of ‘Someone Like You’ were dramatic, think again. ‘Hello’ takes it to new heights, hitting us again and again with that huge chorus and high notes. Talk about chills.
10. That voice
We may say that other singers have huge pipes, but that’s nothing compared to Adele. Each performance is flawless, and it seems like there’s nothing she can’t do. On ‘Hello’ she really goes for it, and blows every other vocal powerhouse out the water at the same time. Cue tears, chills and worshipping Queen Adele. We’re so glad you’re back.