I'm going to tread lightly in this article because I know how much people love Adele. Please, don't get me wrong, this article is not meant to insult her in any way. Quite the contrary, I admire her and this article is meant to prove how good she is at what she does.
For the last month or so, working at my office has become unbearable. Not a day has passed by without having to hear the song 'Hello'. On top of all that, every 5 minutes or so, someone at my office decides to sing the line "Hello from the other side, I must've called a thousand times." Not the whole song, just those 2 lines. And 5 minutes later it happens again followed by the usual complaint: "Dammit that song is stuck in my head again."
So why is that song stuck in your head? Is it the world's greatest song? Hardly. It's actually quite dark and depressing and it doesn't have a catchy melodies. So why can't we stop singing it? That's because Adele is not a singer, she's a manipulator. It's almost as if she crafted this song perfectly to get stuck in your head.
From the stand alone 'hello' that immediately reminds you of Lionel Ritchie, to the fact that the song deals with the easiest subject in the world to exploit: Breakups. We've all been through them, so we can all relate. When the song plays, you're not actually thinking of Adele, you're thinking about your own life. The song becomes a part of you. Pair that with simple rhyme that anyone can easily memorize, "Hello from the other side, I must've called a thousand times", and you're pretty much screwed, you're gonna have that song stuck in your head forever.
Same thing when she wrote the theme to Skyfall. Everyone immediately loved that song, so much so, that it outgrew the movie all together. It was #1 on iTunes 10 hours after it was released and it's the first time a Bond theme won the Academy Award for best song. Entertainment Weekly praised Adele saying that there is finally a great James Bond theme, which is total bullshit, because Paul McCartney's performance of "Live and Let Die" was arguably superior in every way.
So how was Adele's bond theme so powerful that she actually managed to outperform a fuckin' Beatle? Simple. Adele did something that no other original Bond theme artist did. She actually included the original bond melody (slowed down) in her song.
It almost feels like cheating. Someone asks you to write a bond theme song, so you just take the classic bond theme, slow it down, and add some crappy lyrics. Yes, The lyrics are crappy: Let the sky fall - When it crumbles - We will stand tall - Face it all together - At Skyfall - That Skyfall
So basically "Let the sky fall, at Skyfall ... THAT Skyfall". Seriously?
But that proves how good she is. She doesn't even need to come up with good lyrics. She just needs to use a few simple tricks to make you love her songs on a subconscious level. That's why I believe that Adele is not a real singer, she's really an emotional puppeteer.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to Adele and have me a good cry.