I have one of the best roommates in the world. We’ve been living together for almost 2 months, and it’s been wonderful. We get along really well and take the time to do things together. It’s a wonderful living situation, and I am so thankful for that. And one day this week, while she was vacationing in South Korea with her step-mom, there was a package from Amazon.com in the mailbox. I opened it to find a copy of Adele’s new album, “21,” secretly purchased for me by my new roommate. The note inside said she hopes I didn’t buy a copy for myself while she was away and had a good Easter holiday. It was completely unexpected and totally appreciated.
“Someone Like You” was the first track off of “21” that I heard. A friend posted a link on Twitter to a cover Lisa Lavie had done, and that led me to a video of Adele performing the song in her home. The video of Adele also featured her talking about the inspiration for the song and for the album.
When I was writing it, I was feeling pretty miserable and pretty lonely, which kind of contradicts “Rolling in the Deep,” where I was like, “I’m gonna be fine without you.” This one was me kind of on my knees, really. That relationship that the entire record is about is really summed up in Someone Like You, has changed me in a really good way. It’s kind of really made me who I am at the moment, you know. And I’m sure there will be another relationship – well I hope so, anyway – that helps change me, define me as well. But I can imagine being about 40 and looking for him again, and turning up and he’s settled, and he’s got a beautiful wife and some beautiful kids, and he’s completely happy. And I’m still on my own. It’s kind of about that.
Is there anyone who can’t relate to that experience? Especially in this Facebook age when the wedding pictures are unavoidable. They find a place on your news feed even when the last thing you want to see is a picture of the happy couple walking through an arch of wedding guests and bubbles or photos of all your mutual friends at a reception you weren’t invited to attend.
When a friend found out I had the album, she told me, “That CD is SO GOOD but SO SAD! Listen with caution. And tissues.” Though I didn’t need the recommended tissues while listening to the album, Adele’s heartbreak could definitely be felt through the lyrics. She puts words to the emotions you feel when you’re sitting home alone, trying to figure out what to write in your journal. I was surprised to discover that she is only 22 years old (she turns 23 next week on May 5). Her songs and talent led me to believe she had to be a 35-year-old almost-bride who was left at the altar. She seems beyond her years. Then again, it’s the experiences I had at her age that allow me to connect emotionally to her music.
Out of the 11 songs on the album, there’s not a single track that disappoints. I wouldn’t expect anything less of Adele.