Monday, November 14, 2011

Someone Like You by Adele

This is how a lot of us feel about this song (including Coldplay). The weird thing is that my fifth graders on the bus ride back from a retreat sang this song as if it was a happy sing along song. At first I thought they were completely off base, but right now I’m not so sure.  Is this song as song as it seems?

Adele’s performance of “Someone Like You” at the this years MTV VMAs this questions in a way that the studio recording doesn't.

As the first chorus comes to a close you see a tear start welling up in the corner of Adele's eye. There’s a deep sadness that is expressed.  When she sings the second verse it’s like the words are spontaneously coming out of her soul, not a rehearsed performance. Instead of ending this verse with sadness there’s a little sense of bitterness as she sores into the second chorus.

There is a sense of anger in the second chorus as we begin to understand that this song is more then an expression of a moment but a journey of emotions as this woman works through the feelings of heartache and regret.

After Adele sings “ . . . bittersweet, this would taste,” she pauses for moment and you aren’t sure what’s going to happen next. How is she going to come out of this? Will it be through the sadness of the beginning of the song or the anger of the second chorus?

What emerges is something completely different: strength, resilience and determination. When she sings “never mind, I’ll find someone like you,” it’s not a word of self-comfort as it is in previous verses, it’s a statement of belief. While she wishes again that this other person finds love, what she emphasizes is how “she begged” stating it not out of desperation but a promise to herself that she will never beg again.

Yes, sometimes love lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.  What Adele teaches us is that sometimes the times it hurts leads to strength.

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