After six long years, Adele is finally back and sounding better than ever. The release of her lead single “Easy on Me” reminded music lovers around the world of her dominance. Within hours, the ballad reached No. 1 on the global Spotify chart with 10.7 million streams. Now if charts don’t convince you of her influence, her music video numbers might: In just six days, the “Easy on Me” video surpassed 90 million views on YouTube.
The song’s music video is a cinematic masterpiece in itself. Preceding her upcoming album’s theme of divorce and letting go, the video begins with a black and white scene of Adele moving out of her house. As she drives away, she laments her broken marriage while watching enviously as a couple celebrate their engagement.
Throughout the video, Adele makes subtle allusions to her previous “eras.” She references her hit songs “Rolling in the Deep,” “Chasing Pavements” and “Hello.” And while “Easy on Me” and “Hello” aren’t on quite the same level lyrically (although the videos are reminiscent of each other), “Easy on Me” still manages to jerk tears from viewers and listeners.
On first listen, I struggled to understand the story Adele was trying to convey. Her flawless falsetto and runs distracted me from the meaning of the song. Upon third listen, however, I recognized that the lyrics were a letter to her son.
She sings, “Go easy on me, I was still a child and didn’t get the chance to feel the world around me.” Presumably, Adele is asking her son to understand how difficult choosing to divorce was for her. Furthermore, she sings, “You can’t deny how hard I have tried; I changed who I was to put you both first, but now I give up.”
She told Vogue that her son is the inspiration for her album. She said after her divorce, her son asked her simple questions for which she didn’t know the answers: “ ‘Why don’t you love my dad anymore?’ And I’d be like, ‘I do love your dad. I’m just not in love.’ I can’t make that make sense to a 9-year-old.”
Whenever Adele releases a new song, a fear echoes across social media: What if Adele decides to change her music style? Because her music is so perfect for any sad experience, it would be really difficult to listen to an upbeat album from Adele. Thankfully, Adele knows exactly what the people want – a ballad.
“Easy on Me” is introduced with repeating piano chords leading up to her first verse. It’s clear that although Adele took a six-year break from actively releasing music, she’s worked on improving her voice. As she builds up to the chorus, audiences breathe a sigh of relief: The Adele they know and love is back. “Easy on Me” is by no means Adele’s best song, but she provides a mature and exciting look into “30,” her album set for release Nov. 19.