Someone Like You by Adele
Someone Like You is an original composition written by Adele and her friend and cowriter, Dan Wilson. It encompasses all of the emotions wrapped up in the aftermath a broken relationship. Adele based the song, as well as all of the other songs featured on her album 21, on a lost love. She tells the tale of a man who abandoned her in the wake of what she thought would be a lifelong commitment, only to marry another person within a few short months. Unlike the other songs on her album, Someone Like You carries much less of a vengeful tone and ventures into the grief stricken emotions of acceptance and regret.
The song was recorded in one take at Harmony Studios in West Hollywood, California with Dan Wilson playing the piano. A decision was made not to include further orchestration and to leave the song as was. Written in four-four time, it stays in the key of A minor. Adele’s vocal range varies by nearly an entire octave throughout the song.
A music video was composed to go along with the song. The video was directed by Jake Nava. Filmed in black in white in Paris, France, it shows a disgruntled Adele walking through a park, seemingly pouring her heart out to the emptiness around her. The video was widely received by critics who praised its simple nature.
Critical reception of the song soared, and granted nominations for several awards. They praised its bitter honesty and simple composition, with only a piano in the background, calling it the highlight of the album. Labeled as the third most popular song in 60 years, it followed only Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It was nominated for, and won, a 2011 Grammy award for best pop solo performance. Quickly rising to Adele’s first number one hit in the United Kingdom, and second in the United States, it remained at the top of the charts for nearly five months. With that, Adele became the first female British singer in history to have two chart topping hits from the same album.