Adele “Someone Like You” Live
When I first heard this song, I knew this was it. I knew this would be that one song I could never really master but would try and try and try.
(Sadly, now that I’ve lost my voice, it’s impossible to even sing it in my own bathroom…) I fell in love with it almost instantaneously. The song isn’t new, but the emotions it brings me, every single time I hear it, is always new.
It’s a love-hate relationship really. I loved the song, but at the same time, there would always be this heavy feeling in my heart when I hear it. It is like those “Chinese love song” that you sing at the KTV after a breakup.
Written by Dan Wilson and Adele Adkins, this song racked first on Billboard Hot 100 during its peak. In an interview, Dan Wilson disclosed that he had only met Adele for the first time when recording the song at Harmony Studio in Hollywood, which took two days to finish.
What inspired the song?
Dan said, “She told me she wanted to write a song about her heartbreak… that was how she put it. She told me a little bit about the guy who broke up with her, and I think maybe part of my contribution was to help keep the song really simple and direct—very personal.”
Adele had apparently came to the session prepared – lyrics and melody for the first half of the verse, which Dan thought had a real vibe and idea already.
All in all, excluding the time Adele had spent sitting on the edge of her bed writing that first verse, the co-writing process took two days.
“After we listened to a bunch of Wanda Jackson songs on YouTube, we went to the main room of the studio where the piano is. There Adele showed me the idea for the verse. She was playing it on the guitar, and she taught me the part, but when I switched to piano, she lit up. “That’s way more inspiring!” she said. So I played piano for the rest of the session.”
“Someone Like You” is a love song from the point of view of a woman who shows up unexpectedly at her married ex’s front door, only to be confronted by the fact that he’s moved on and has a life and a wife. Whereas she’s never been able to let go. The chorus is ironic: she says she’s going to find someone else, but the strange and obsessive part is that she wants to find someone like him. Hopefully not to re-live the entire sad and sordid tale, but one somehow suspects that it will be so.
And there you have it. Maybe, just maybe, I’m still looking for someone like you?
Anyway, here are some words of wisdom/advice for aspiring songwriters!
“Write a lot of songs. Lots and lots of songs. A lot of problems with a song in progress can be solved by starting a new and different song. Share your ideas with people, don’t be shy and don’t think that there’s any upside in hoarding them. It’s really rare to have a song idea stolen. The risk is totally worth the upside in showing people your songs. Open-mic night, Soundcloud, find any and all ways to get your songs in front of an audience, you’ll be amazed how much an audience can teach you.”