What Is "When We Were Young About"?

by Daniela Cabrera

Honestly, Nov. 20, aka "The Day Adele Takes Back Her Throne," cannot come soon enough, for that's the day Adele will release her new album, 25. Ahead of the release, Adele has single-handedly destroyed VEVO records with her "Hello" video, and it happened with pretty much no promotion beforehand. Yes, bow down. Tuesday morning, she bestowed fans with another gift from 25 to satiate our thirst, in the form of a second single titled "When We Were Young." The single is, of course, stunning and powerful, and because it is so full of emotion, what could "When We Were Young" be about?

The beautiful live clip was filmed at The Church Studios in London and backed up by a live band and back-up singers. In an interview with SiriusXM, Adele opened up about the process of writing "When We Were Young" with Canadian singer/songwriter Tobias Jesso, Jr. She said,

Tobias is my favorite. We got on so amazingly well, he's such a nice guy. We wrote this song together called "When We Were Young," at the most insane house in L.A. on Phillip Glass' piano... ["When We Were Young"]'s got a very '70s singer-songwriter vibe which I'm totally inspired by — that's also Tobias' vibe as well.

The song has a noticeably more upbeat melody than much of her previous discography, which can be attributed to the fact that, yes, Adele is growing up and changing. As she revealed in her open letter on Twitter, 25 is a "make-up" record and "making up for everything" she did and never did. The album is about reflection and getting older and that is precisely what "When We Were Young" is about.

The song's bridge and chorus includes the lyrics:

You look like a movie / You sound like a song / My god, this reminds me / Of when we were young / Let me photograph you in this light / In case it is the last time / Though we might be exactly like we were before we realized / We were sad of getting old / It made us restless / It was just like a movie / It was just like a song.

During her SiriusXM interview, Adele spoke of where the idea for "When We Were Young," came from, and it sounds to me like it's an ode to life's moments and looking back at all of the memories that shaped her, whether good or bad. She said,

It was based on us being older, and being at a party at this house, and seeing everyone that you've ever fallen out with, everyone that you've ever loved, everyone that you've never loved, and stuff like that, where you can't find the time to be in each other lives... And you're all thrown together at this party when you're like 50, and it doesn't matter and you have so much fun and you feel like you're 15 again. So that's the kind of vibe of it really.

Where her previous albums were mostly about young, unrequited or forbidden love with another, "When We Were Young" is setting the precedent for what Adele said 25 as a whole was about. In her open letter she said, "25 is about getting to know who I've become without realizing." And I can't wait to hear what she has to say, especially if it sounds anything like this.