While she is being hailed by some as the new “Queen of Soul,” many of my girlfriends, have remained skeptical of Adele. It’s a big claim to put before women of color given the legendary women who helped build the genre and crafted it along. I know that I did go kind of heavy as her personal brand ambassador when I moved back from London, but I felt that someone else needed to feel what I felt the first time I hear her perform live.
This week, old and new converts alike are showing they are feeling Adele, with her album “21” ruling the charts despite the competition. And while folks may not want to add her to the next legend-we-love-and-revere tribute, the singer’s chops speak for themselves.
Last Friday, Adele’s VH1 Unplugged ran, showcasing the singer’s range, ability and yes, soul. However, it was one of the songs she left from her VH1 set that has had my heart in my throat every time I hear it.
“But I set fire to the rain/Watched it pour as I touched your face/Well it burned while I cried/Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name.”
Not only is the lyric genius, Adele is speaking a truth that any woman can relate to- letting go of someone who is not meant to be in your life. Whether in our romantic relationships or in our friendships, we all have faced the agony of facing someone who stands in the way of your happiness. Setting fire to the rain is the choice to burn the unhealthy relationships that in better moments seem impossible to let go of. We all at some point will have to learn to forget hurt in order to forgive, but too often we forgive continually not realize we aren’t being treated as we should. As difficult as it can be to see, sometimes choosing to say we don’t deserve someone who doesn’t believe we’re worth being treated like our best selves.
It’s not just real, it’s pretty soulful stuff as well.