Don't call it a comeback.

By Hayden Wright

Some critics wondered what made “Hello” different from other Adele tracks.

The song treads similar sonic and lyrical territory to the mega-hits from her album 21. However, her words explore a subtler and more evolved area of lost love. With “Hello,” Adele is searching for lessons, forgiveness and peace of mind.

This Adele is not furious and heartbroken; instead, she’s introspective and seeking. Her power chords are no less thunderous or aching, but the ache is no longer raw and fresh. On “Hello,” Adele has settled into a bit of wisdom and sophistication about the relationship that’s haunted her for two albums.

For a singer who mournfully sang “Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you,” the growth is undeniable. This Adele probably doesn’t want “Someone Like You” again, anyway. She’s been there and done that.

The song’s writing and production strengths were there all along, but how do you turn a single by the biggest recording artist in the world into a sleeper hit? Adele’s team shrewdly released a 30 second snippet of the song for television, without identifying the singer, a release date, or virtually anything else.

This generated word-of-mouth for a song that never needed it. Since then, a smart and calculated media offensive has kept Adele at the forefront of the musical conversation. Her performances of “Hello” on SNL and public venues have struck gold, while interviews with the intensely private singer reminded us of her modest, hilarious charm.

With “Hello,” Adele reminded the world that this is her industry and everyone else is just recording in it.

The song has spawned memes, parodies and homages that involved icons from Miss Piggy to Star Wars Stormtroopers. Most of all, it’s provided immediate easy shorthand for those awkward post-breakup conversations we unhealthily fantasize about having.

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