Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2011

Someone Like You by Adele

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Adele’s powerful emotionally sorrowful song delivers her straight from the gut soulful style and performance while it crosses many pop genres.

Song: Someone Like You
Artist: Adele
Album: 21
Songwriter: Adele Adkins, Dan Wilson
Producer: Dan Wilson
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Concept
A classic song of hurt love and disappointment with a touch of universal martydom in its "I wish you well and don’t worry about me" message.

Lyric
A straightforward story of coping with a love affair that didn't work out and being caught up in its wake. VERSE I heard that you’re settled down That you found a girl and you’re married now I heard that your dreams came true Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you Old friend, why are you so shy Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light PRE-CHORUS I hate to turn out of the blue uninvited But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t hide it I hoped you’d see my face that you’d be reminded That for me it isn’t over CHORUS Never mind, I’ll find someone like you I wish nothing but the best for you, too Don’t forget me, I begged remember you said Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Groove
A solo rolling 16th piano arpeggio provides a simple accompaniment throughout the recording.

Melody
All four song sections have well defined melodies. The range is wide enough to showcase Adell’s powerful voice and expressivity. The mid-level verse and low-note pre-chorus set up the higher emotive chorus.

Harmony
The three primary chords are embellished by two dark minor harmonies that color the sadness and stoic pain in the lyric. I iii vi IV vi V IV V IV vi V I V vi IV

Structure
A A B C A B C D C Verse Verse Pre-Hook Chorus Verse Pre-Hook Chorus Bridge Chorus

Signature
A simple piano arpeggio figure that introduces the song effectively.

Production
The stark piano-vocal recording is so complete, one doesn’t miss a larger production.

Performance
Adell alternately loudly belts out the powerful held notes as the rise to climaxes that contrast the more softly stated wordy lower song sections. The credibility of her romantic disillusionment is unquestionable.

Predicted Longevity
“Someone Like You” is so universal and classic, it could easily be a favorite for a long time to come. Its crossover appeal will undoubtedly lead to covers by country, rock and R&B artists through the years.

Album Cover: 21

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