Note: This is one of those non-hockey posts I promised/threatened in the “About” section. It was bound to happen eventually – I mean seriously, it’s July. If not now, when?
Adele’s songs are terrible.
I know you love them. I know they make you feel feelings, and every time they come on the radio you belt every chorus for all your once-broken heart is worth. And I know her voice is supposed to be very very speshul, so much so that she doesn’t get drummed out of pop music for not having the kind of figure that lends itself to strutting around the stage in hot pants and bedazzled bras.
I don’t hate Adele’s voice, although I’m not really sure what all the fuss is about. I’m glad ‘the industry’ allows her to be her slightly plump self, and I admit that many of her songs are catchy, or whatever the mournful, heartachy version of ‘catchy’ is. I want to like her; I really do. But good lord, those lyrics suck. They suuuuuuck. They su-diddly-uck.
I mean, really, they just suck. There’s no way around it.
It starts with the song titles. I’ll award a zillion internet points (redeemable for not a thing) to anyone who can give me a solid, legitimate answer as to what the hell “Rolling in the Deep” is supposed to mean. I’m sure you can all come up with half-baked explanations that come from the depths of your aforementioned once-broken hearts; I’m not interested in those. I want an actual answer, one that makes sense and was intended by the lyricist and doesn’t require semantic contortions and broad allowances. Why and in what fashion is she rolling? What, precisely, is “the deep”? As much as I’m looking forward to all your attempts at decoding this line, I’m fully prepared for them all to be complete BS. They’ll have to be, because this lyric makes not one lick of sense.
The same cannot be said for “Set Fire to the Rain,” unfortunately. That one makes perfect sense, in that both rain and setting fire are highly graspable concepts. Of course, it is physically impossible to combine those concepts, unless you’re talking about the kind of rain that turned Kimberly Drummond’s hair green. Is that Adele’s plan – to destroy our environment just to get back at her ex-boyfriend? What is WRONG with this woman?
Now we come to “Someone Like You,” which is mercifully uninfected by awful title-itis. In fact, it doesn’t suffer at all from the scourge of illogical lyrics – rather, it gives us the almost unbelievably trite “Sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead.” It’s as though Adele, having attempted to write “Jabberwocky” in the previously noted songs, decided to make this one “Go, Dog. Go!” Saturday Night Live told me that this song makes people cry, but sometimes I get the sinking feeling that I’m the only one who’s crying because of how badly that line mars what could have been a tolerable Adele song.
As for “Chasing Pavements,” that may or may not be an actual British phrase. If it is, then it’s in the clear. If it isn’t, then it sucks most of all.
Next time on Lyrical Deal Breakers: Lyrics that try to break the deal, but can’t quite overcome the quality of the music.