Last Friday, the world watched as Adele’s latest single hit Youtube, her first since “Skyfall” back in 2012. The single, already met with acclaim and receiving over 25 million views within a day of its release, is a fine herald her new album 25.
As a video, “Hello” frames Adele’s reflections on relationships as she conducts past and hypothetical conversations with her exes. The sepia tones and prominently featured retro phones lend the video a nostalgic sensibility, although the song has a somewhat less acoustic and more updated pop quality than her previous work.
As is typical, Adele’s verses are subdued and low-voiced, while she belts out the refrain confidently. Accordingly, her verses are complemented by facial close-ups and intimate detail shots, while in the most openly emotional sections of her song, she gives an active depiction of singing or talking.
Adele’s video benefits most from this attention to personal experience. When she speaks to her ex, played by Tristan Wilds of 90210 and The Wire, he faces the camera directly and places the viewer into Adele’s place, while her hands gesture around the frame. The voices and crying that overlay Adele’s singing add more urgency and immersive ambiance to the narrative.
As she transitions from a cozy, rustic, abandoned house to the windy, coldly bright outside, accompanying details give the colorless video sensory detail. The rippling circle of stove fire and the spiraling steam and dust are comforting and familiar images, while the phone hanging abandoned in an overgrown booth is decidedly less so. Every shot matches the song’s cadence and brings the viewer into the moment’s emotion.
“Hello” marks another powerful single in Adele’s looming collection. It brings her musical style—and 25—into 2015.
Featured Image by XL Records