Adele Drops By to Say “Hello”

By Devon Chodzin ’19

Adele Adkins

There is definitely pressure on Kenyon’s campus to be in the know about all things underground. Our campus’s preferred rappers, films, and more tend to be more indie than not. Many things corporate or mainstream are cast aside and labeled as “inauthentic” or “capitalistic,” and given the problems associated with the entertainment industry, it’s understandable why socially conscious people would search out talent that doesn’t support the given structure.

But everyone has to love Adele. She’s too good.

She may be within the mainstream, with her most popular videos approaching one billion views on YouTube, but her talent and agenda make her presence as an artist in “mainstream culture” completely excusable. Her image as an uber-dramatic singer-songwriter who also happens to be a woman of size is certainly unconventional in the mainstream and has rendered her an icon. And, as of last week, she’s finally back on the scene.

Last week, on October 22nd, Adele uploaded a video for her latest single, “Hello,” which is the first off of what will be her third studio album, 25. The video is gritty, emotional, cathartic, and very, very characteristic of Adele. Her entire vocal range is showcased as she and a former lover reconnect and clear the air. Of course, it’s done in the most melodramatic way possible. Without the drama, it simply isn’t Adele.

The announcement of 25 has been long awaited, considering the space between her most recent studio album, 21. Fans have been clamoring for some more Adele, myself included. 21, whose greatest tracks include “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep,” dropped when I was in middle school. Adele’s long hiatus has contributed to the immense popularity of “Hello,” whose music video has already been viewed 150 million times this week alone.

The bottom line is that 25 is going to be a monstrous deal. Ever since her debut in 2008, Adele has brought many seemingly separate musical demographics together to commiserate in sentiments relating to home, love, and loss. She goes there. The emotion she conveys is simultaneously raw and beautiful. It is rare that, in this era, we see artists with sound we can already label “timeless,” and yet Adele is lauded for being the kind of artist whose hits are instant classics and are absolutely ageless.

“Hello” is part of what will be 11 tracks devoted towards “making up” rather than “breaking up.” 21 was absolutely a breakup album, and while the “making up” that will occur in 25 isn’t representative of coming back together, it is representative of the ever-elusive reconciliation between ex-lovers. If we can expect anything from 25 other than emotion, it’s Grammys. Adele’s track record with the Grammy awards has been almost too good to be true.

You can check out the music video, or really, musical cinema, right here:

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