I like Adele. Let’s just get that out of the way. She is a great singer, a writer of her own music, a non-cookie-cutter celebrity, and a star in her own right. Actually, I think I may like her personality as a celebrity even more than as an artist:
But a friend of mine who was raving about Adele the other night made me think about why I have kept what I would describe as an arms-length appreciation for her music.
I do appreciate that soulful quality to her singing that seems to elude the likes of some other powerful (but ultimately hollow) voices. She excels in accentuating her voice with a lot emotion. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that writes or co-writes a lot of her own music, and bases it on personal experiences. However, all that emotion can get a bit screechy at some times, and her songs are not easy backdrop music. She gets major points for making music that isn’t just sugary fluff pop, and has some solid writing behind it. Adele’s ballads just are not meant for corporate radio saturation. They are performances, not endless repeat fodder. They would be much better listened to at home, lounging with a glass of red wine on a Sunday night, preferably on vinyl.
I have initially really liked a couple of her songs, only to have the mainstream corporate radio stations beat any appreciation I had for them right out of me through merciless overplaying. So many of her songs are really amazing that it is sad to get bored with hearing them.
The near-constant looped radio play of Top 40 stations means that you are likely to get hit with “Someone Like You” about 6 times in one commuting day. Which is 5 too many repetitions, and about 80% more emotion than a Corolla can properly contain.
Ultimately I think Adele is an awesome celeb and a great singer, but her greatest talent is in the songs she writes. I submit for example, an example of two of her songs recut and remixed. The end result is just as fun and interesting as either original: