When I opened up my Facebook app this morning, something had happened. The first four posts I saw were ones from friends all sharing the same Adele video. Hours later, 12 friends had shared it.
I get it, she hasn't released music in four years and surprised us all with her first song, "Hello," from her upcoming album 25. Not all that uncommon for artists. But, I wondered, why was everyone hopping on the Adele train? Then, I clicked the link. Six minutes and 6 seconds later, my life had changed.
Her new song, and music video, is in one cliché, overused word: amazing. To give a bit of background, the storyline follows that of a woman who hurt her ex-lover from years ago, and despite trying to call him (hence the "Hello" tie), she can't get through to him.
I'm no expert in the music biz, but her vocals were so strong they gave me chills, the lyrics were captivating, and the synthesis of everything together made my heart beat fast and slow all at once. (Seriously, if you want the same emotional roller coaster effect as a Nicholas Sparks' book, just save yourself some time and watch this video.)
After watching it at least 15 times, I realized that this song was much more special for more reasons than its sound. She pushes music industry boundaries and proves points that listeners may not even realize, but should.
Here are a few:
1. The story line follows a couple in an interracial relationship.
While it's not shocking that (gasp!) white women can love black men, interracial relationships are becoming more and more common, and per the 2010 census, interracial and ethnically mixed couples grew by about 30 percent. But as NPR has pointed out, pop music usually doesn't reflect that. With Adele's leading man one of color, she'll definitely help shake up the status quo.
2. Instead of singing about getting hurt like many female artists do, she apologizes for hurting someone.
Adele isn't the first artist to sing about breaking a guy's heart (shout out to Carrie Underwood and even Taylor Swift). But "Hello" is just another reminder that, yes, woman can have agency in a relationship, too. Even if it means hurting someone, because they're also human. The nice part about it is that she apologizes and women who are going through similar struggles can relate.
3. The song is her comeback after having a child.
Forty-three percent of women with children leave their jobs, and even though they might have killed it in their career, it's been proven they have a very difficult time getting back in. Though she may have more clout because she's an insanely talented celebrity, Adele proved that women who take a break after children can, in fact, still do their jobs well. In less than 24 hours, her video has already broken 2 million views. How's that for a comeback?
4. Her voice (and face) alone keep us captivated.
Now, let's not get it twisted. As Nicki Minaj has poignantly pointed out before, women expressing their sexuality however they want isn't a bad thing. They have a right to do that and they shouldn't be shamed for it. However, what makes Adele's video one of a kind is that, aside from vocals, her emotion is expressed with only her face. In an industry with Vine-able dance moves ('sup Drake) and wrecking balls, it's cool to see an artist just allow us to feel the music. (Shout out to the video's director Xavier Dolan.)
5. Her voice, though.
In an industry with a ridiculous amount of Auto-Tuning and lip-synching, Adele's vocals are stronger than ever. Need we say more?