I don’t like Adele. I don’t! Never have. Found her annoying from the start. But, she’s apparently the newest record-setter for album sales, I don’t really care for her voice, or her sap, but goddammit if I wasn’t hypnotized by this performance (which I only found because I was reading about a producer on The Fader during my lunch break).

I gotta give it up for this. And I have to watch it again. Her vocal ability is spot-on as she nails every high note and run-on melody. The song is less annoying lyrically than some others, and the setting of simple gutiar parts and back-up signers in the studio is exactly the way ballads should be recorded live. I also love the little two-note guitar part that starts before the pre-chorus, the way it builds into something more. Her change-up of lyrics it the final chorus has a peel-back-the-curtain effect. And, in full disclosure, earlier today I saw a recording of her performing that too-ubiquitous “Hello” single w/Jimmy Fallon and The Roots as one of their rather clever classroom instrument renditions, and it was pretty impossible to not enjoy it, if only for noticing the great instincts and reactions of the band around her song and performance.

Ugh, so, am I changing my tune on Adele? Meh. I am not going to purchase “25.” I’m not!! But maybe I won’t mind as much when she comes up in random playlists, knowing that her performance skills are so incredibly strong, and her sense of romance in her lyrics maybe isn’t all radio cliches after all.

“Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time,
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
I’m so mad I’m getting old
It makes me reckless

It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
When we were young.”

~When We Were Young,
Adele, 25