A Line-by-Line Analysis of “Hello” by Adele

November 11, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Adele is back to take over the world with her latest single, “Hello.”The single, released just three weeks ago, has already taken the number one spot on the Billboard charts and reintroduced flip phones into relevant pop culture discussion. However, for all of its notoriety, “Hello” has yet to receive a full and correct analysis. National Ave is here to fix that.

Here is the complete, unimpeachably correct analysis of “Hello” by Adele:

Hello, it’s me

A Lionel Richie throwback, Adele’s initial “Hello” seems to indicate that this song might be sweetly sentimental – maybe even upliftingly romantic. The songstress has said her life has taken a positive turn, and maybe the song will reflect that.

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything

This is ominous. What are they going to go over? They’re clearly not together anymore. No, no – it’s fine. Maybe this is just Adele catching up with an old friend. You know that one friend that moved to the same city as you after you hadn’t seen them for half of a decade, with whom you’ve insisted you’re DEFINITELY going to get coffee? Adele is actually committing to that meeting.

They say that time’s supposed to heal yah, but I ain’t done much healing

Damn. This doesn’t sound hopeful. So much for awkward but friendly coffee. I don’t know if my heart will be able to handle this. Maybe there’s a silver lining?

Hello, can you hear me?
I’m in California dreaming of who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet

No silver lining; it’s time for waterworks. Adele’s heartache transcends her fame and success. She simply longs to remember what it meant to be in the throes of young love. But she can’t. SHE CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER. You know what’s worse than thinking about someone and being overwhelmed thinking about an actual experience you shared? Being depressed over the IDEA of the FEELING of a person. You can’t kill that bullshit.

There’s such a difference between us
And a million miles

Not five hundred miles. Adele would walk that – and she would walk 500 more. Vanessa Carlton, who do you think you are, acting like you’re the first goddamn person to walk 1000 miles to see someone? BADADATDA, bitch. Badadatda.

Anyhow, this is one million miles – an insurmountable amount of miles.

Hello from the other side
I must’ve called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home

Well this is new: Adele the Heartbreaker. It looks like our favorite distributor of unrequited love finally received affection she couldn’t return. Do we feel bad for this rejected paramour? Maybe. It looks like Adele does, so we probably should too.

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

She tried, DAMNIT. She really tried. In fairness, she tried to say she was sorry for breaking this man’s heart, which is like trying to say you’re sorry for running over someone’s puppy. Sure, you need to apologize, but nobody really cares what you say. Weirdly enough though, this man, a man who lost an amazing beauty and soul in the form of Adele, just DGAF.1 This is Adele’s Tell-Tale Broken Heart. Her former lover doesn’t even think about this, but she hears his past sobs with every breath she takes.

Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry
I hope that you’re well
Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?
 

Adele, you’re great. We all love you. However, this is a real dick way to apologize and check on someone. “I’m really sorry, or…I guess I tried to say I’m sorry or something. Do you still live in that shit town like a big loser?” You can do better than this.

It’s no secret that the both of us
Are running out of time

Well I guess this evens the playing field in a super dark way. Her former flame might still live in a nothing town doing nothing with his life, but they’re both on the road to death – so does it really matter?

So hello from the other side
I must’ve called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home

In most of Adele’s songs, it’s confusing why she has been rejected. It seems as if Adele is a doting girlfriend willing to give endless love. On top of that, she’s gorgeous, clever, and charming to boot. It’s difficult to understand why a man would turn away from her.

In this situation…not so much. Adele is obsessively calling a man whom she failed to breakup with in thoughtful way. She is calling him, not to try to form a new friendship or say happy birthday or pay for his dog’s funeral, but to remind him that she broke his heart (in the form of a weak apology), mock his hometown, and express fatalist missives. Honestly, this guy is probably making a good choice in dodging these calls.

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart

…And maybe you should just leave it that way? You broke this man’s heart and he has now found peace of mind. You have also moved on with your life. You have a husband and a child now. Adele, I say this with the utmost respect and love: Stop being dumb and leave this guy alone. Just let him live his life, no matter how much it seemingly bothers you that he’s not on the verge of jumping off a cliff thinking about how happy you are right now. This is a clean break.

Anymore, ooooohh
Anymore, ooooohh
Anymore, ooooohh
Anymore, anymore

Adele is so clearly aware that this man’s heart used to be in shambles. This isn’t even one of those situations where you dump your significant other and (s)he responds so calmly that you’re 100% SURE (s)he was cheating on you the entire time.2 This poor guy was actively distraught after his breakup with Adele but, after months and months of sobbing and painfully using “Someone Like You” to get over the woman singing the song, he is finally at a healthy place in his life. (Editor’s Note: How do you even deal with Adele dumping you? The only person who truly understands your heartbreak is Adele. Do you just listen to 21 while shoveling Ben & Jerry’s into your mouth anyhow, even though you know it will only remind you of her?)

Hello from the other side
I must’ve called a thousand times

Let’s not make it one thousand and one.

To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home

Hold on: Does Adele really think this guy isn’t home if he doesn’t answer his cell phone. OR MAYBE HE STILL HAS A LANDLINE? Oh God, he must really live in a town where nothing happens. Loser.

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

This is how Adele handles delicate situations when she has control:

Adele: “Hey, how’s it going?”

Ex-Boyfriend: “Fine. I should g—“

Adele: “Are you actually okay?”

Ex-Boyfriend: “Yeah. I’m good. I need to –“

Adele: “Remember your dead puppy?”

Ex-Boyfriend: “Jesus.”

Adele: “Well do you?”

Ex-Boyfriend: “Yes. Of course I remember my great dog that you crushed with your Prius.”

Adele: “At least I tried to say I was sorry!”

Ex-Boyfriend: “Goodbye, Adele.”

Adele: “You still live in a shithole?”

*Dial tone*