With a simple, one-word greeting, British pop sensation Adele announced her return to music following an improbable three-year hiatus.
Adele released “Hello,” the lead single to her forthcoming third studio album, "25," on Friday morning. What begins as a soft piano song quickly transforms into a ballad of epic scale thanks to Adele's signature, gut-wrenching vocals.
“Hello” tells the story of someone who, despite ending their relationship with their former lover, realizes they made a mistake several years later. The one-time heart-breaker tries to reach out to their ex but, despite calling “a thousand times,” it seems the two have seemingly traded places.
“Hello from the outside / At least I can say that I've tried / To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart / But it don't matter / It clearly doesn't tear you apart anymore,” Adele sings in the chorus.
An accompanying 6-minute music video directed by Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has already made history, according to Entertainment Weekly. Co-starring Tristan Wilds of "The Wire" fame, it’s the first music video filmed using IMAX cameras. Adele is seen throughout retracing the key memories of her failed relationship through a sepia lens.
Excitement over Adele’s new single made the singer the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter Friday morning. As of 10 a.m. ET, the singer’s name had been tweeted more than 297,000 times in the previous 24 hours, according to Twitter analytic tool Topsy.
"21," Adele’s last album, sold more than 11 million copies in the U.S. alone, according to Billboard. And her last new piece of music, the 2012 theme to the James Bond movie "Skyfall" was showered with accolades, including an Oscar and Grammy award.
But after finding herself on top of the world, the singer suddenly disappeared from the spotlight. In an open letter to fans published Wednesday on social media, Adele apologized for her slow return to publishing music. “I’m sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened,” she said.
During that time, she gave birth to son Angelo with boyfriend Simon Konecki. While her last record was a break-up album, the singer describes "25" as “a make-up record.”
“I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did,” Adele wrote. “But I haven’t got time to hold on to the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done.”
"25" is due to hit store shelves on Friday, Nov. 20.