If you cast your mind back to 2012, Adele came back with the uptempo ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and then followed it up with ‘Someone Like You’, which almost immediately broke records in every direction. ‘Hello’ is something like ‘Someone Like You’ in that it’s a piano ballad that has that pop bombast in the last half. Thankfully, Adele’s changed up the topics from 21‘s break-up weeping to what she calls a ‘make-up’ album and ‘Hello’ is suitably focussed on her newfound fame looking back on the mere mortals and trying to reconnect.
But for an Adele song, nothing really happens. ‘Someone Like You’ did the exact same thing, but better and it had the emotional impact (or at least, for the first five times you heard it). Of course, her voice isn’t going to be a problem on any track she puts out, because it’s always squeaky-clean. It’s just a very dull track, which you don’t really expect from the first single of the biggest pop album of the year. Ed Sheeran releases ‘Sing’ and then the slow ‘Don’t’ comes out, Rihanna releases ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ and then ‘American Oxygen’. It’s an odd choice, but even if it was a ‘good’ ballad it would make sense. It’s more ‘Discount Someone Like You’ than anything else.