Say what you will about Adele, the woman knows how to build anticipation. Although more than four years that have elapsed since the release of her international smash album 21—more than 30 million copies sold and counting—fans are still eagerly awaiting 25, the follow-up record due out November 20. And today comes the first taste of that forthcoming album, as the artist has just released the video for leadoff single “Hello.” Directed by precocious Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan (Mommy, Laurence Anyways), the video tells the story of a breakup—Adele is nothing if not consistent in her themes—with the help of Dolan’s lush visuals.
It’s not particularly ambitious or unusual, just a simple and well-shot short film. We’re not enormous fans of the choice to overlay Adele’s music with dialogue and sound from the video, as it distracts from the lovely arrangements and her powerhouse voice, but it fades away quickly enough. We’ll just say it: This sounds not-dissimilar to Whitney Houston at the height of her powers, and your fondness for it may depend on whether that sounds like a promise or a warning.