Adele ‘Hello’

Adele’s ‘Hello’ focuses on a telephone conversation/voicemail.

The song brilliantly leverages the strength of direct address to create a highly personal moment, while the melody moves from ballad to power ballad utilizing eighth notes and scale shifts to create defining moments within simple, direct lyrics

Even if you’re not a vocalist, you can leverage the structural craft of the song to add dynamics to your songs.

Adele Hello Lyrics

Vowel sounds are Adele’s middle name – yep – Adele “Vowel Sounds” SomethingOrOther.

OK – not really, but she is one of the best at working them into a lyric to create a groove – almost a sub-melody.  She also uses them to create false rhymes, making the lyric sound like it resolves.  Pretty cool song craft device if you’ve got the voice for it!

The best vowel sounds to end a line (or a lyrical phrase) on are – in order: A | O

In ‘Hello’ the first word of the song focuses on the “O” sound, then notice the emphasis on vowels: “drEAming” – “be” then “betwEEn” (note the internal rhyme using the vowels), “mIles” – “sIde.” Adele seems to be able to make any vowel work. And, the extension of the vowels brings the emotion to the song.

Another great affect in the song is the launch into the Chorus, or the pre-chorus in the song:

(After Verse 1)

There’s such a difference between us,

And a million miles.

[Vocal pause w/riser] Chorus!

(After Verse 2)

It’s no secret that the both of us –

Are running out of time.

[Vocal pause w/riser] Chorus!

You can hear it deliver a sense of “something is going to happen”!  While the chords and riser are part of the anticipation, so are the lyrics – or lack of them.

The song also highlights the importance of including a scene despite the conversation taking place – an element often overlooked in direct address songs. You know the speaker is on the phone. It doesn’t really matter where (even though she says California). You can picture her calling someone and talking to them, voice mail?

In Verse 1 it’s a cathartic release. Verse 2 turns into apologetic small talk. The speaker trying to reconnect with the person – “both of us” essentially becomes a “we.”

And while the word is a simple one, the word “hello” becomes a pivotal anchor point in the song.  Each use results in an amplification of the feeling of loss and regret, finally turning into a sense of closure.

Adele ‘Hello’
Songwriters: Adele and producer Greg Kurstin

Because Adele’s ‘Hello’ works so well with the family communication process during the holiday, this sketch is absolution brilliance.

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