How Dare You?: Adele’s “Hello”

Artist: Adele

Song: Hello

Sample lyrics: “Hello, can you hear me? / I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be”


Adele makes you cry. Adele remembers how you felt when you decided to take up running the week after your break-up because now you had all this time — it is weird how much time another person is — and it was either running or eating that block of cheese again. You laced up and you hoped that crying looked like sweating. Adele can put that feeling to a pulsing beat that hits all the octaves.

Her sophomore album — 21 — is the only album from the 2000s to appear on the Top 30 list of all-time best selling albums. Proving that Your Fave Could Never, neither Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Kanye or Justin Bieber make an appearance on the list. (2014’s largest selling album was the Frozen soundtrack; if Elsa didn’t have you up in your feelings, then you are not human.) She is a truly original voice for the 21st century.

She is also a demon woman who’s been reading all our diaries. The audacity of it!


A FLIP PHONE! I bet they’ve worked the finality of a phone flipping closed into the piano music or something.

Level of Crying: Nostalgia

Adele just stretching her neck before taking your whole goddamn soul and crushing it in her mighty jaws.

Level of Crying: Aggressive Massage

Everything about this video is beautiful. Shot near Montreal by Canadian director (and 26 year old!) Xavier Dolan, it’s such a pleasure to watch.

Level of Crying: Moved by Art

“I will take up hiking! I don’t need a man to go outside with! I am independent woman with legs and a fur coat!”

Level of Crying: Walking Uphill in a Fur Coat For Three Hours

When you’re plotting a voicemail but then the phone rings and it’s them.

Level of Crying: Under CIA Interrogation

An accurate depiction of Planned Style vs. Actual Weather. Wind is actually a tool created by exes to oppress your flawless curls.

Level of Crying: Into the Wind So At Least The Mascara Stays Dry


How very dare she drop this album on a Friday morning!? Now I gotta cancel all my plans to think back on all of life’s heartbreaks and upsets. Now I have to make some up because life is, like, aight. That time I made a not-that-great pasta? TRAGIC NOW. Tuesday when I tripped in front of a Beautiful Person? WOE AND HORROR. Had to pay cash instead of card for lunch? SYLVIA PLATH COULDN’T WRITE THIS MISERY. And I have all day at work to do it because instead of a regular day of trying to look like I’m working hard (aka everyday), it’s now Adele Day. It is a day for holding back tears and/or being the person made emotional by spreadsheets. “Um, my family used to have this spreadsheet and we had to delete it; this is just an emotional formula for me.” This is who I am now!

A friend said, “I don’t know what happened. I turned 23 and then everything Taylor Swift sang made me cry.” I laughed at her cause that is a crazy thing to say. Replace 23 for 25 and Taylor for Adele and I invite you to laugh at me. Adele’s songs are a homing beacon for whatever broke in me at the end of my first quarter of a century. They are the soundtrack that plays in that raw, bruised and wounded place where I store every sad moment.

This motherfucking song is one of those moments. This is about that phone call — so ill-advised and yet, so necessary — to an ex-whatever. I have done it; composed of equal parts bragging, apology, check-up, hope and anger, it’s a moment of weakness masked as friendship. There once was a person that I could pour myself into (“Hello, how are you? / It’s so typical of me to talk about myself”) and now they’re out in the wild not answering my phone calls. Obviously, this is because they are still in love with me. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. I will call back. Four times.

This is why you shouldn’t be friends with your exes. It’s a dumb idea. There will be a voicemail of you sounding simultaneously chipper and sad (“I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be”) while asking questions that sound like questions a friend might ask but are really just deep shady insults (“Did you ever make it out of that town / where nothing ever happened?”). Did you, ya lazy bastard?

This voicemail will play on the news during your run for the presidency. Your ex is not to be trusted.


Glow in the dark smile: “You know what, I should have known you wouldn’t call. My bad. Can I get you drink?”

Cosy Sweater and A Squint: “It wasn’t exactly a dinner for two. Any dinner is for one if you think about. I’ll cook for you at your house next time.”

So Damp, So Sad: “Come to my house and I will cover you in blankets and love! You can bring her too!”


The How Dare You? Scoring system: The artist begins with 100 points for sheer audacity.

  • The eyeliner, ooooh the eyeliner: +30 points
  • Mascara on backing vocals: +21 points
  • A black-and-white video that lights a black man well? Tell us your secrets, Xavier!: +13 points
  • Adele is a firecracker so I really wanted to hear the exact wording of those voicemails: -19 points
  • Dropping this bad boy on a Friday morning, and thus lowering the Gross National Product of all hearing and seeing nations: -27
  • Giving everybody a reason to re-visit the original “Hello” by Lionel Richie: +7 points
  • Giving everybody a reason to watch original creeper video i.e. “Hello by Lionel Richie: -8 points
  • Hiking in a fur coat like a true diva: +16 points

Total Score: 133.


When I was 11, I lost a pair of black and white Adidas runners somewhere between Minneapolis and Chicago. My life's goal is to get them back. Those exact ones.

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