“Hello” is not really a compassionate breakup song, like Carole King and Toni Stern’s “It’s Too Late”—the breakup here seems to have happened long ago—but rather an acknowledgment that you can never really make a clean break, that the memories float around like emotional flotsam and sometimes still land ashore.
Singer-songwriter Adele has made music history in the last week with record-breaking sales of her latest album, 25. But what is it that makes us all go run and buy her songs? As the New York Times Magazine writes, Adele is more than queen of the charts. She’s queen of our hearts, too.