Pop Perspective: Adele’s “Hello” Reviewed And Rated By All Four Idolator Editors
At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high-quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align. Other times, not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all four of us dissect a particularly noteworthy pop event, and give it a rating out of 10.
That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest pop event to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Adele’s much-hyped comeback single “Hello,” which is already sitting at number one on iTunes in 85 countries. Is the gut-wrenching ballad another “Someone Like You” or does it fall a little flat? See our thoughts below.
Robbie Daw — 9/10
Adele has been long overdue for rescuing us from the mediocrity that is Pop Music In 2015, and today she delivers the one-two punch of dropping gorgeous ballad “Hello” and premiering the epic music video for the song. It would take a carefully planned strategy and an enormous talent to try to follow blockbuster album 21 with something nearly as epic, but if “Hello” is any indication, Adele is off to a great start.
Will 25 contain further future-classics along the lines of “Set Fire To The Rain” and “Rolling In The Deep”? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, we should all relish in the cinematic tour de force and sucker-punch to the gut that is Adele’s “Hello,” easily one of the best singles of the year instantly upon arrival.
Bianca Gracie — 7/10
Forget Drake for a moment, as it is Adele who will have exes’ hotlines blinging all over the world — thanks to her heart-wrenching new single, “Hello.” Now, it’s only been almost 5 years since 2011’s 21 — which used to be ample time for artists to take a break from their albums so they can grown both musically and as a person. But we live in a suffocating Internet craze where fans throw threats if their favorite artist fails to release an album and multiple EPs in under a year. So naturally, people were losing their minds while waiting for Adele’s return. And as with her other projects, “Hello” is surely worth the wait.
“Hello” instantly tugs at your heartstrings with its soaring piano notes that are laid under Adele’s plush vocals that are vulnerable, delicate, bold and forceful all at the same time. It is a total refresher when placed in the spectrum of the synth-filled, fairy-like Tumblr pop theme that is currently taking over.
But is the song striking enough to stand out from her other tunes? Honestly, not at first listen. We’ve come to expect Adele to sing about heartache and pain over rumbling production for almost a decade now — and “Hello” definitely doesn’t stray away from that. But does it do its job? Of course! Why fuss with a formula that has been evidently ripping through the charts and radio time and time again? “Hello” will resonate with anyone who has been in love/long for love and need something relatable to listen to during the upcoming frigid, lonely winter months. Just try not to send that “Hey Stranger…” text while drowning in your single sorrows.
Carl Williott — 6.5/10
I feel like everyone rushed to be the first to point out how HEARTBREAKING and EMOTIONAL this song is and how it will LEAVE YOU WASHED UP ON A DESERTED ISLAND AFTER A TIDAL WAVE OF TEARS OBLITERATES YOUR HEART-BOAT and how the chorus is AS MAJESTIC AS A CATHEDRAL MADE FROM THE BONES OF PAST LOVERS.
But, pre-Twitter, does this song garner such widespread, rapturous acclaim? I dunno. It’s no “Rolling In The Deep” or “Someone Like You” — actually it’s more like Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” if anything. But seeing as how it’s a heartfelt MOR ballad from the best singer in the game right now, you can’t help but get swept up in the melodrama. It’s just that a voice like this deserves better than middle of the road.
Mike Wass — 9.5/10
I don’t know what’s more depressing — randomly calling an ex to dissect your failed relationship or the ease with which Adele makes the rest of the game look like bad karaoke singers. Her innate ability to yank a heartstring is truly an unfair advantage. As for “Hello”? The Greg Kurstin-produced ballad had me from the opening line.
“Hello it’s me, I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet to go over everything,” the Grammy winner begins the ballad over simple piano keys. “They say that time’s supposed to heal you.” Adele looks for answers to familiar questions as the song progresses, which might come across as MOR to some, but strikes a chord with anyone messy or insecure enough to seek closure from someone who has already moved on.
It comes as something of a relief that Adele is still tortured. She’s the spirit animal of the emotionally bruised and I’m glad she’s back to spread more misery. “Hello” was worth the four-year wait.
AVERAGE SCORE: 8/10