It’s been nearly five years since Adele released her blockbuster Grammy album, so you’d be forgiven for wondering whether fans could be treated to new material during the singer’s return to Saturday Night Live.

But she had been the host, not the musical guest.
In her opening monologue, Adele provided an explanation that surfaced as an update of sorts: “I know there has been a great deal of chatter about me just being the host,” the singer said.

“Like why is she not the musical guest and things like that, and there’s a couple of reasons: My album’s not finished, and I’m also too fearful to do it .”

However, lest SNL is accused of leaving a high-performing sports car idling in the garage, it did find an opportunity for Adele to sing excerpts from four of her funniest tunes –“Someone Like You,” Hello,” When We Were Young” and”Rolling in the Deep” — in a sketch set over the course of a season opener of The Bachelor.

(Afterwards, the singer derailed a distinct sketch by breaking out laughing repeatedly, but she held her own)

Obviously, SNL reserved a distinct high-octane musical guest in H.E.R., who conducted”Damage” — which she had released only a couple of days before — and an even newer song called”Hold On.”

The studio variant of this latter track dropped on streaming services Saturday night.

Always a sleek and low-key presence onstage, H.E.R. maintained both performances rather subdued, but “Hold ” did offer her a welcome chance to bust out a few of her signature guitar heroics.

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