From the depths of each person’s soul lie dormant emotions; that are capable of creating either a wonderful lifetime full of love, or a tragic heartbreak that is simply indescribable. R&B creates a world in which expressing lost love, calling out for another, and giving your all for someone is constant. R&B/Pop singer Adele has proven herself to be a legendary song writer and performer. Using past emotions and relationships to express her true feelings is what she has done in a miraculous way. Additionally, throughout the course of her course of her challenging career, she has made an impact globally through her music.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay
R&B and Soul music both derive from the depths of the “1930's growing from the blues meeting urban beats” (hubpages, 2011). Delving into the public’s mind and soul, these genres took ahold of the depressed and shaken society. “R&B generally was played in an ensemble style, typically including a lead singer, instrumentalist, rhythm section, wind instruments and some combination of piano and organ.” (2011) The general public needed some sort of entertainment or distraction to clear their troubled minds from The Great Depression, which is why even today R&B/Pop is said to have a deeper meaning that grasps the soul. World renowned R&B/Pop artist Adele has conquered the charts with the number one album in the country for a consecutive twenty-eight weeks. Additionally, while not having a strong background occupation, she managed to thrive upon the world’s attention. Her sophomore album 21 surpassed her debut album 19 astonishingly, selling over an unbelievable ten million copies. We will analyze a song written by Adele herself, “Someone like you” (Adele, 2011), which portrays her love for someone who she previously dated. While wishing her past lover the best, she hopes that they remember her just as she remembers them and the relationship as a whole. Adele’s intended audience mainly consists of people who have dealt with situations similar to her, such as; being lost in love, attempting to stay strong when your world leaves you, and saying goodbye to the one you love the most. Some of her goals as an artist are to let those who have felt the pain that she has felt know that they are not alone, and that are just one of millions of people who go through the same situations. Within the analysis of the song “Someone like you” by Adele, we will discuss how relatively persuasive/unpersuasive this argument is for its intended audience, briefly list some of the greatest strengths and weaknesses as considered from the intended audience's perspective, discuss the discourse community surrounding Adele, and lastly analyze the rhetorical devises the author uses in the text.
The song “Someone like you” by Adele is incredibly persuasive to her intended audience, simply because every part of the song, inside and out, is completely from her heart. She expresses herself through her songs so deeply that it is nearly impossible to not feel the emotion and passion that she gives out while singing. While using metaphorical language to capture her audience, she creates a captivating song that describes a past relationship. She shows in her lyrics how the best person she’s ever met, relationship wise and friendship wise, creates the best bond imaginable. Although, the relationship ends due to timing, thus creating the pain that inspired the song to be written. Adele shows the world that she isn’t afraid of how she feels, because she knows she’s not the only one. The amount of deep love that is expressed throughout the song makes it even more captivating. “To achieve deep and lasting love of another person, you need to first experience the depth within yourself -- an inner core that doesn't change with time or events. If it is the true essence, it is an essence shared by the other person as well, and deep love becomes unavoidable.” ( Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, 2011) Another reason behind why Adele’s music is persuasive is that the amount of passion put into the song is simply unfathomable; it delves into the midst of a strong emotional bond that is broken abruptly. She writes in a way of speaking to her past lover, while also creating a mood of uncertainty and regret. It is apparent throughout the song and within the lyrics that this was one of the most challenging experiences that she has dealt with. The use of informal diction also plays a major role in her writing as a whole. Furthermore, her word choice reaches out to the public while having an outstanding arrangement of sentences within the song. The most effective phrase used which is also the name of the song is “Someone like you” (Adele, 2011). While having an effective use of language, Adele uses the rhetorical technique (pathos) giving real life experiences within her lyrics. For example, “You know how the time flies
only yesterday it was the time of our lives”, here she clearly reminisces on past memories and infers that time that has elapsed is rather abundant. Giving real life experiences throughout her songs and spilling her emotion and heart into the lyrics are what makes the songs outstanding.
With every writer there are strengths and weaknesses, with many different perspectives comes many different opinions. Adele’s intended audience perspective plays a major roll within the success of her as a writer. Strengths of her work would definitely be her strong and powerful voice. Most importantly, her use of language while explaining real life situations. Also, her broad use of rhetorical devices such as; metaphors, and alliterations create a more refined and authentic piece of writing. All of these combined creates the artist we know as Adele, making an impact on every person who has felt heartache from all around the globe. Along with the positive, comes even the most unwanted negative. Most of Adele’s audience feels as though her weakness would be her weight. The superficial image that the world has created for famous artist to align with has been slightly detrimental to Adele. Even though the quality of her writing and the utter power of her voice are what truly make her a sensational artist, this is what even her intended audience may see as a weakness. Essentially, the strengths outweigh the weakness when considering her overall talent and capabilities.
Within every genre of music rather it be Hip-Hop, Country, or Blues, each has its own discourse community. These communities consist of individuals who share similar interest in music, as well as personal situations. It usually takes someone to experience what has actually happened in a situation to fully grasp and interpret it correctly. For example, a mother describing the strenuous pains of child birth to middle aged man who obviously has the opposite sex as the woman. The man possibly would never fully grasp or understand what the woman felt in the situation, rather her explaining it to another woman who has felt these pains. Situations such as these create similar relationships between people and music. When a person can relate to what the author has to say, they feel as though they have a stronger connection with the artist. “A speech community typically inherits its membership by birth, accident or adoption; a discourse community recruits its members by persuasion, training or relevant qualification. To borrow a term form a kind of association readers of this book are likely to belong to, an archetypal discourse community tends to be a specific interest group.” (Swales, 1990) More specifically, members of Adele’s discourse community would possibly find it easier to understand the rhetorical situations involved in her writing. Furthermore, they would be able to fully grasp what she has to say in deeper meaning through analyzing.
Initially, when listening to a song, you listen for something that catches your attention. Whether it is the rhythm, melody, or simply the lyrics. After these steps take place, then comes analyzing what the song is trying to get across. In the song “Someone like you” by Adele, she has a strong use of pathos, giving real life emotional situations throughout the song. “I heard that you’re settled down that you’ve found a girl, and you’re married now. I’ve heard that your dreams came true, that she gave you things, I didn’t give to you.” (Adele, 2011), as seen here, it is used by persuading then appealing to the listeners emotions. “Pathos is often associated with emotional appeal. But a better equivalent might be ‘appeal to the audience’s sympathies and imagination.’ An appeal to pathos causes an audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with the writer’s point of view—to feel what the writer feels” (durhamtech, 2011). Adele’s use of pathos ties in with her discourse community (her intended audience) which ultimately summarizes her rhetorical techniques and who they affect.
Overall, the song “Someone like you” (Adele, 2011) has many rhetorical devices and techniques that portray the true meaning of love and despair. It also entails a use of literary devices such as ethos and pathos to construe examples of real life situations, in order to capture the intended audience, while relating to them. It takes the listener on a journey back to previous experiences rather they are positive or negative. The song creates a way expressing oneself without actually expressing anything at all. It gives a feel of comfort, a feel of knowing you are not the only one that has experienced love and the detrimental side of it.