A View From The Top #5

by Sam Chantarasak

So far, 2015 has brought many a magical music moment. From One Direction’s bitter break up, to Taylor Swift’s ever-engulfing empire, and that Justin Bieber song, no year has yet seemed so rife for Twitter hysteria.

Until now.

The Internet went into a frenzy as multi-award winner, record-breaker, and global sensation Adele dropped her first track after a three-year hiatus.

As Kate Giff predicted in last week’s column, Hello was an instant hit worldwide. Written during a writer’s block with producer Greg Kurstin (a man who’s had his fair share of hits with acts including Lilly Allen, Ellie Goulding, and Years & Years), Hello jumped to the top of the charts in not just the UK, but also thirteen other countries. In just 24 hours it had picked up over 27.7 million views, and was the fastest ever video to smash 100 million VEVO views.

At the time of writing this column, the music video for Hello had notched up over 185 million views on her official VEVO, a number rising by the second. With those statistics, it’s hard to deny that Adele is anything but a global music superstar. Adele’s comeback will no doubt bring some British musical flair to the market for single female vocalists, an area that has recently been over-saturated with our North American counterparts.

Hello comes as the first track from Adele’s new album. In the same vein as her first two albums, 25 can be seen as a reflection of who she is now, and her growth from her music at 19 or 21. Or, as Adele wrote in a personal post on her website, “25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising.” For Adele fans, the single is a return to what Adele undeniably does best. Forlorn and melodramatic, Hello is a classic power ballad about moving on from a relationship. Accompanied by a moody, sepia-toned video, the single reaches several climactic choruses with gusto.

For me, it’s slightly disappointing that there seems to be little musical development from her first album six years ago, despite what the albums’ names imply. Unsurprisingly, Adele’s powerful vocals are flawless, however, the single lacks originality and excitement, with the single already drawing comparisons to soul legend Lionel Richie’s unforgettable Hello. Nonetheless, the more I listen to Hello, the more I find myself singing along. Adele may not be my most innovative artist, but she sure knows how to write songs that stick with you.

What perhaps never fails to surprise is the wider Internet’s reaction to the song. After weeks of (admittedly hilarious) Drake dancing, the meme sector of the Internet has reimagined Adele as a particularly insistent prank caller. I have to wonder how the artist themselves react to their art being cut into fifteen-second looped videos spamming Facebook news feeds. Interestingly, these videos bring a new dimension to the popularity of these songs, all without the artists’ marketing team even being involved.

Although unsurprising that the superstar rose instantly to the top of this week’s charts, Adele still managed to beat off tough competition. Justin Bieber’s newest single Sorry managed to debut at Number 1, which will perhaps be disappointing for the controversial teen favourite after his last single’s performance (although a Bieber-free Number 1 may be beneficial for the health of this column).

Next week Adele competes with Lost Frequencies’ Reality, his follow up to his last number one Are You With Me. US pop diva Ariana Grande’s latest single Focus was also released this week, but lacks the catchy chorus of her last UK Number 1s, Bang Bang and Problem. I find it hard to picture Adele being knocked off the top spot for several weeks to come, probably until her next single knocks her off. What is certain, with the upcoming release of 25 on November 20th, is that this won’t be the last we hear from the singer.

Hello, it’s Adele. And she’s back with a vengeance.