Contrary to popular belief (and hope), the next single off Adele’s album (and only album selling anything nowadays), 21, is not Set Fire To The Rain but Rumor Has It.
I can hear the disappointment resonating all the way to where I’m sitting as I write this. But do you really need to be? Simply, no.
Starting off with an infectious drum beat to the hum of “ohohohs,” Rumor Has It sets itself as a rhythmic smash from the get-go. “She, she ain’t real,” sings Adele in a raspy voice. “She ain’t gonna be able to love you like I will. She is a stranger. You and I have history or don’t you remember. Sure, she’s got it all. But baby is that really what you want?”
The first part of the first verse ends with Adele’s voice resonating with no music behind, leaving a subtle echo that will hook you. “Bless your soul, you got your heads in the clouds. You made a fool out of you and boy she’s bringing you down. She made your heart melt but you’re cold to the core. Now rumor has it she ain’t got your love anymore…”
And then she breaks into the repetitive yet highly infectious chorus: “rumor has it, rumor has it, rumor has it…” all to the echo of the word rumor.
The second verse starts with another phase in the “rumored” relationship. “She is half your age but I guess that’s the reason that you strayed. I heard you’ve been missing me. You’ve been telling people things you shouldn’t be, like when we creep out and she ain’t around. Haven’t you heard the rumors?”
The second verse then continues with its second part, which is structurally similar to that of the first chorus: “Bless your soul, you’ve got your head in the clouds. You’ve made a fool out of me and boy, you’re bringing me down. You made my heart melt, now I’m cold to the core. But rumor has it I’m the one you’re leaving her for.”
And then she goes into a second repetition of the chorus before going into the song’s bridge, accompanied with a change in pace and melody, proclaiming “people say crazy things. Just cause I said it, don’t mean that I meant it… Just cause you heard it.”
Then she breaks into one final repetition of the chorus before ending the song on a chilly note: “but rumor has it he’s the one I’m leaving you for.”
The thing about Rumour Has It is that it is, yet again, very different from almost anything else o radio currently and that is always something positive in my books when a song is done well. And in this case, it is most definitely done well. The buildup, the story arc Adele subtly presents… All of it works to deliver a song that is both catchy and insane.
It’s very hard not to get hooked by the repetition of the drums at the beginning and the gospel-effect of the background “ohohoh.”
Rumour Has It is a song that serves two purposes. Adele said of the song that it’s about all the useless talk people say without knowing the truth and how it ends up hurting relationships, be it mere friendships or a love relationship. In itself, the song presents you with three arcs, represent three facades of Adele. You have the scorned Adele, the played Adele and the player Adele. You have Adele falling to the rumors of her man going with another girl. Then she decides to take him back, revealing at the end that she was playing him. And the awesome thing? It could all be a simple unfounded rumor. After all, rumour has it…
Listen to Rumour Has It: