Song of the Day #2,735: ‘When We Were Young’ – Adele

adele-25Best Songs of 2015 – #9
‘When We Were Young’ – Adele

Nobody thought NSYNC’s record of 2.4 million albums sold in a week would ever fall. Not so much because NSYNC is some pinnacle of creative success but because the music industry has changed so much that a million-copy sales week is now unheard of. Two million? More? That’s fantasy land.

So when Adele’s 25 sold 3.4 million copies in its first week, it was truly a game-changing event. The problem is, Adele appears to be the only player in this game. Even Taylor Swift, whose 1989 had the biggest sales week in a dozen years when it was released in 2014, managed around a third of Adele’s tally.

What’s striking about Adele’s gaudy success is that she had simply disappeared for four years. Forget about working your fans through social media the way Swift does. Adele just retreated back to her life after the massive success of 21.

Maybe it is exactly that absence that created such fervor around her return. Maybe it’s that she’s the rare artist who inspires the same passion in fans from 9 to 90. Maybe she’s just that good.

I’m an Adele admirer, even if I’ve never gone nuts over her music. I named ‘Rolling in the Deep’ as my top song on this list on 2011 and I still consider 21 an excellent soul album. I bought one of those 3.4 million copies of 25 the first week, too.

This album has grown on me. The first listen, only smash-hit ‘Hello’ struck me as instantly memorable. But now every track has resonated to one degree or another.

None more so than ‘When We Were Young,’ the lush, melancholy piano ballad that showcases Adele’s powerful, evocative vocals better than anything on 25.

[Verse 1]
Everybody loves the things you do
From the way you talk to the way you move
Everybody here is watching you
Cause you feel like home, you’re like a dream come true
But if by chance you’re here alone
Can I have a moment before I go?
Cause I’ve been by myself all night long
Hoping you’re someone I used to know

[Pre-Chorus]
You look like a movie
You sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

[Chorus]
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time that we might
Be exactly like we were before we realised
We were sad of getting old, it made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

[Verse 2]
I was so scared to face my fears
Nobody told me that you’d be here
And I swear you’d moved overseas
That’s what you said when you left me

[Pre-Chorus]
You still look like a movie
You still sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

[Chorus]
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time that we might
Be exactly like we were before we realised
We were sad of getting old, it made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

[Refrain]
(When we were young)
(When we were young)
(When we were young)
(When we were young)

[Bridge]
It’s hard to admit that everything just takes me back
To when you were there, to when you were there
And a part of me keeps holding on just in case it hasn’t gone
Cause I guess I still care, do you still care?

[Pre-Chorus]
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

[Refrain]
(When we were young)
(When we were young)
(When we were young)
(When we were young)

[Outro]
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time that we might
Be exactly like we were before we realised
We were sad of getting old, it made us restless
Oh, 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

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,735: ‘When We Were Young’ – Adele

  1. Dana says:

    I was a big fan of “Rolling in the Deep” and I have enjoyed a few other of her songs, but I really don’t get the tremendous fervor and record breaking sales. I think she falls more into the Celine Dion and Josh Grobin category of appealing to the 40 and up
    Middle class to affluent crowd of mostly White women who still buy CDs at Walmart, Target or Amazon.

    I thought “Hello” was good, not great, and I don’t think all that much of this second single. It’s also strange to have a woman in her mid 20’s singing about “when we were young.”

  2. Clay says:

    Her numbers prove that she has massive appeal outside of that Celine Dion demographic. Maybe it’s because of her age — she somehow seems like a very young woman and a very old one at the same time. I think she is also refreshingly herself, free of any celebrity affectations or pressure to look like a typical music star.

  3. Maddie says:

    She definitely has an appeal to a wide range of women (and many men for that matter). I can tell from listening to people humming or belting out her songs around my college alone that this is true. And the SNL Thanksgiving sketch wouldn’t have made much sense if it weren’t true. That said, I still am a more distant admirer, and have even been annoyed by some of the more repetitive songs on 21 😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s