Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Adele Returns

So help me, I was ready to give up on Adele.  Her third album was supposed to be released back in October 2014.  It was delayed to this April.  Then it was delayed to this October.  Then it seemed like its release would be kicked into 2016.  Meanwhile, this year, Madonna released her second album since Adele's most recent LP release (21, from 2011!) and went on her second "concert" tour since then.  I was convinced that Adele would end up on my annual list of losers on this blog, not because of what she did but what she didn't do - namely, release a new record.  I was also convinced that, by the time she did release a new record, no one would care anymore.
Well, guess what - Adele is back, and she's more popular than ever.  She has a new single out, "Hello," and her new album 25 is due out on November 20.  The promotional video for "Hello" had already gotten over 67 million views when I saw it last week; as of last night, it had gotten 217,134,473 views!  The recording itself got downloaded 1,112,000 times in a week, and it was played 20.4 million times via on-demand subscription services as well.
And no one's gotten sick of it yet.
It's now obvious that while I may have been ready to give up on Adele, everyone else was still waiting for her return with baited breath.  It makes sense: Adele is one of the very few recording stars who can make a record that sounds like it came from an artist rather than a bunch of cynical record company executives trying to craft the perfect hit.  Her music is a throwback to when notes and chords were played on real instruments while other "artists" are using machines you could either play video games on or use to write a blog (hi, there!) to make their "music."  There's no calculation, no attempt to follow convention, none of that stuff in Adele's music - just that voice.  And it's a very precious voice, one its bearer must preserve.  That's why people patiently wait for a new record from Adele; there's really no one else out there who compares to her.  Adele, by the way, won't be performing too many concerts to promote 25, and she likely won't go on a full-blown tour.  Because if she did,  she might strain her vocal chords, which she's done in the past.  As for other pop divas who tour constantly, hey, do you really think most of them actually sing live in their shows?  Even if they do, do you honestly call that caterwauling singing? They don't have all that tasteless spectacle for nothing.
It may be awhile before we get a fourth Adele album - by then, Barack Obama's successor may be preparing to step down after two terms as President - but if anything, she's demonstrated that any product from her is worth the wait. :-) 

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