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He Won't Go (song)

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Adele21
Adele
Writer(s) Adele, Paul Epworth
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Length 4:37
21 track listing
"Take It All"

"He Won't Go" (originally titled "What Is Love") is the sixth track off of Adele's chart-topping album, 21. It was produced by Rick Rubin. The song was originally intended to be the last track on the album instead of "Someone Like You". It was originally co-written by Adele and Paul Epworth under the title "What Is Love". [1] Their version was originally intended to be put on the record, but Rick Rubin and Adele also did a version of the song that Paul liked better, and they ended up changing the name of the song to "He Won't Go" and releasing the version produced by Rick Rubin.

This song was also the only song featured on 21 that was not included in the setlist for Adele's Adele Live tour (as well as her performance at The Royal Albert Hall). [2] Despite this, it was performed during select dates on the tour, according to some fans. [3]

BackgroundEdit

The song was mainly inspired by two friends of Adele's that she had met after her first record, 19, was released. She had met them through her love of dogs. The male was a heroin-addict and had been making his journey to rehab. The couple's bond had helped the male overcome his addiction, something that really touched Adele, who says that she is very proud of both of them, as the male has been "clean" for what is now over a year. [4] Adele spoke with The Sun, stating, "The first verse was about me and my ex but then became about two of my close friends who are a couple that became my lifeline when I came off tour. Two months after I met them, the boyfriend went into rehab for heroin addiction. I had no idea about his problem." [5]

TitleEdit

"He Won't Go" originally was included in the album's track listing under the title "What Is Love", and was originally co-written by Adele and Paul Epworth, who also produced the song originally. [6] Ultimately, it was decided that Rick Rubin's version with Adele would be released on the album. Therefore, "He Won't Go" appears as a separate song from "What Is Love" on BMI Repertoire. [7] Adele revealed in an interview with Q Magazine that the song was conceived within the first seven hours of working with Paul Epworth, along with "Rolling in the Deep". [5]

One rumor suggests that the song was also considered to be called "Don't Leave Me".

CompositionEdit

"He Won't Go" features more R&B undertones, distinguished by a prominent bass and harp sound, and prompted comparisons to Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill. The song was written in the key of C minor. [8]

Critical receptionEdit

"He Won't Go" received mainly positive reviews from music critics, with some citing it as a highlight from the album. The song was described by one critic as something she might perform at the Soul Train Awards. [9] Joseph Viney of Sputnikmusic wrote that "'He Won't Go' should get even the most miserable of music fans snapping their fingers". [10] Matt Collar of AllMusic named the track as one of the album's highlights, and further wrote, "'Rumour Has It ' and the old-school-style soul cut "He Won't Go" are terrifically catchy, booty-shaking numbers, and exactly the kind of songs you want and expect from Adele." [11] The New York Times praised the "disco-like treatment of the vocals" on the song. [12] Slant Magazine wrote that the song, like the Ryan Tedder-produced "Rumour Has It", had a more adventurous arrangement, and further called the song "hip-hop flavored". [13]

The Boston Globe gave a mixed review of the song; it praised Adele's vocals, but criticized Rick Rubin's production skills on both this song and "Don't You Remember", blaming him for "obscuring" them. [14] PopMatters also gave the song a mixed review, but complimented Adele's songwriting abilities, which they felt were shown off on this track: "More often though, she is saddled with ersatz arrangements like the Vegas lounge trappings that stifle the potentially compelling addiction drama 'He Won’t Go' ('will he go back to the place where he will choose the poison over me?' she sings in one of too few passages here that remind what a strong lyricist she can be)". [15]

Lyrics Edit

Some say I'll be better without you,
But they don't know you like I do,
Or at least the sides I thought I knew,
I can't bear this time,
It drags on as I lose my mind,
Reminded by things I find,
Like notes and clothes you've left behind,
Wake me up, wake me up when all is done,
I won't rise until this battle's won,
My dignity's become undone,

But I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I'm willing to take the risk,
I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I'm willing to take the risk,

So petrified, I'm so scared to step into this ride,
What if I lose my heart and fail the climb?
I won't forgive me if I give up trying,
I heard his voice today,
I didn't know a single word he said,
Not one resemblance to the man I met,
Just a vague and broken boy instead,

But I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I'm willing to take the risk,
I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I am willing to take the risk,

There will be times, we'll try and give it up,
Bursting at the seams, no doubt,
We'll almost fall apart and burn the pieces,

And watch them turn to dust,
But nothing will ever taint us,

I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I'm willing to take the risk,
I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I am willing to take the risk,

Will he, will he still remember me?
Will he still love me even when he's free?
Or will he go back to the place where he will choose the poison over me?
When we spoke yesterday,
He said to hold my breath and sit and wait,
I'll be home so soon, I won't be late,
He won't go,
He can't do it on his own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
He's willing to take the risk,
So I won't go,
He can't do it on his own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I'm willing to take the risk,

'Cause he won't go,
He can't do it on his own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
We're willing to take the risk,
I won't go,
I can't do it on my own,
If this ain't love, then what is?
I'm willing to take the risk.

ReferencesEdit

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