Adele as Allegory

Because of her commercial success, some indie music snobs might miss the fact that Adele is one of the great female crooners of a generation. We bought my daughter a copy of her live performance at Royal Albert Hall for Christmas, but I think it’s been in the CD player in my car since December 25. It is a masterful, captivating performance (despite the fact that she was suffering from a throat condition and would undergo surgery shortly after).

Just today it hit me how one of her classics of forlornness, “Someone Like You,” can be heard allegorically–not only as a ballad of love lost, but as a wider meditation on loss and rejection. (David Foster Wallace, in his conversations with David Lipsky, said country music takes on a whole new meaning if you listen to it allegorically–even if the “you” in all those sad songs is heard as the “You” of the universe.) In the live performance she invites the audience to sing along, and given the sad, broken world that we live in, it’s a song that everyone knows by heart.
This is not the Royal Albert Hall performance (there are a number of amateur recordings of that available), but a slightly different performance. Worth a listen. Or two.