I was hanging out with my 18-year-old sister over the holidays. She’s a freshman in college and going through all those familiar first pangs of heartache and failed romance. We were in the car gossiping away and “Someone Like You” popped up on shuffle on my Ipod. We broke, mid-sentence, and belted out the entire song.
Don't act like you don't! I see you!
Maybe it's not Adele for you, but there's something that you belt without a trace of irony through your cry-face. I mean SANG-ing with your eyes closed "About a Boy"-style.“Someone Like You” and other Adele songs of longing on “21” and “19” have struck deep into some collectively broken place in in the cultural consciousness. The pain of someone you love finding somebody else is such a universal, universally heartbreaking human truth that only that couple that didn't kiss until they were married are unscathed by it.
There is some sick part of me that enjoys the sadness of remembering when some dude with virulent acne broke my heart, married and had a kid. Seeing him since HAS been awkward. I understand, Adele! WE ALL UNDERSTAND.SNL hilariously put their finger on the self-indulgent, deliciously masturbatory torture of this song:
I like that Kristen Wiig thinks of her sparring parakeets. Heartache and break-ups mean something different to everyone!It's been a guilty pleasure you can share by your lonesome in sweat pants and glasses, or with your girlfriends and a jug of Makers Mark. You personalize it every time you hear it and wish you had the bravery to say it to whom it applies. (Almost no straight men I know get it; they think we’re nuts.)
But it’s a testament to Adele’s voice (which toward the end sounds like she’s crying and singing in the dark…) and her message that I can hear it literally any time it's on and be wrecked by it. Well done, you British minx. You have the bravery to say what we all want to say to our exes we miss.
I don't want to say that the SNL sketch means that the song needs to be phased out in any way; I'm just saying that if you have any gut-shattering unrequited love songs that don't make me think of watching Coldplay cry, my neighbors probably wouldn't mind the shake-up.