Water Under the Bridge (song)

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"Water Under the Bridge"
Adele - Water Under the Bridge (Official Single Cover).png
Single by Adele
from the album 25
Released4 November 2016
FormatDigital download
StudioMetropolis Studios, London
GenreDisco-pop
Length4:00
LabelXL
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Greg Kurstin
Adele singles chronology
"Send My Love (To Your New Lover)"
(2016)
"Water Under the Bridge"
(2016)

"Water Under the Bridge" is a song recorded by English singer-songwriter Adele for her third studio album 25 (2015). The song was written by Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin, while production of the song was provided by the latter. It was released as the fourth single from the album on 4 November 2016. Lyrically, the track is about a critical point in a relationship and trying to figure out if your partner is in or out. Musically, the song is a mid-tempo disco-pop song, featuring an electro-drum beat and a tropical, trip hop riff.

The song peaked at number 20 on the Finnish Singles Chart and number 42 on the Spanish Singles Chart. It also charted in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Scotland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Adele has performed the song during Adele Live in New York City and on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

In 2016, the song was included on the soundtrack of the Brazilian telenovela A Lei do Amor (Wounded Past).

Composition[edit]

"Water Under the Bridge" is a mid-tempo disco-pop song,[1][2] featuring an electro-drum beat and a tropical, trip hop riff,[3] with Adele proclaiming to her lover "If you're gonna let me down, let me down gently".[1] While reviewing 25, Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone noted gospel influence in the song.[4] More specifically, Chris Gerard of PopMatters cited a gospel choir in the background of the song.[5]

The song is written in the key of E major with a tempo of 95 beats per minute. The song follows two chord progressions of Progression #1: A(IV)–Fm7(ii7)–Cm(vi)–B(V)–Gm(iii), Progression #2: E(I)-Fm(ii)-Cm(vi)-A(IV) in the verses, and Adele's vocals span from B3 to C6.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

MTV's Christina Garibaldi wrote that "The song is all about a critical point in a relationship and trying to figure out if your partner is in or out".[7] Katy Forrester of Daily Mirror stated that "The lyrics to this song make us swallow hard and sit thinking about everything in life" and called it "one of the best on the album".[8] The National's Rob Garratt called the song "A pop sing-along which sacrifices none of Adele's trademarked intimacy" and called it "a smart choice for the album's second single", though it turned out to be the fourth.[9] Lewis Corner of Digital Spy wrote that "they [Kurstin and Adele] strike upon a shimmering mid-tempo pop parade".[1]

Chart performance[edit]

On 14 December 2015, Billboard reported that "Water Under the Bridge" was the third best-selling song from 25, having sold 104,000 copies.[10]

Live performances[edit]

Adele performed the song on Adele Live in New York City, which was held at Radio City Music Hall on 17 November 2015 and broadcast on NBC on 14 December 2015.[11] She also performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on 23 November 2015.[12][13]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[60] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[61] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[62] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[63] Gold 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[64] Gold 25,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[65] Gold 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[66] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[67] Gold 500,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Radio and release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United Kingdom 4 November 2016 Digital download XL [68]
United States 14 November 2016 Adult album alternative Columbia [69]
15 November 2016 Mainstream radio [70]

References[edit]

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  63. ^ "Danish single certifications – Adele – Water Under the Bridge". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 15 July 2018. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2018 to obtain certification.
  64. ^ "Italian single certifications – Adele – Water Under the Bridge" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 13 March 2017. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Water Under the Bridge" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  65. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Adele – Water Under the Bridge". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  66. ^ "British single certifications – Adele – Water Under the Bridge". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 October 2017. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Water Under the Bridge in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  67. ^ "American single certifications – Adele – Water Under the Bridge". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 February 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
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