I believe that the reason “Hello” by Adele became so popular is because of the amount of emotion that she hits listeners with.
The key is in F minor, so that says a lot. Minor keys typically sound “sad” to people so it was a good key to pick for this kind of ballad.
The theory behind the song really makes a difference, but another big part of the emotion comes from the lyrics as well. Even though her last emotional hit she wrote was about a break up (Someone like you) Adele claims in an interview that “Hello” is not.
“The song is about hurting someone’s feelings but it’s also about trying to stay in touch with myself, which sometimes can be a little bit hard to do. It’s about a yearning for the other side of me. When I’m away, I really, really miss my life at home. The way that I feel when I’m not in England, is desperation. I can’t breathe anywhere else.”
In general, for whatever relationship the listener is reminded of, hurting someone does not feel good. I think many people can relate to a time where they wronged someone and the struggle of getting that persons forgiveness was difficult or undoable. I strongly dislike being on the other side of a burned bridge with someone, and the feeling of not being able to fix what I’ve done gives me anxiety.
Another reason this song is emotional is because she is accompanied by a piano. In my opinion, piano sets a sad atmosphere very well.
Immediately after the first chord the hit I felt the emotion!
The intro and verse chord progresson follow a repeated pattern of ” i III VII VI “
The verse and pre-chorus follows ” i VII v VI i V6/4 VI VI”
The main chorus follows “i VI III VII “
and the bridge follow “II VII i VI VII”
These minor chord progressions truly make a big difference in the emotional ride of the song.
Overall this is a great song. Its still a pretty simple, but as I said in my last blog post, simplicity can make a big impact. If that isn’t shown by how popular this song became and how easy it was to relate to, then I don’t know what is.
So if you’d like to listen to this song I recommend to save it for a rainy day, literally, it’s perfect for rainy days.
Here is a video explaining more
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