Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Adele

9 December 2015

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I am puzzled by the huge success of Adele’s 25. She is a gifted singer / songwriter. No doubt about that. She is a genuine person. Little doubt about that. Will I buy her album? Probably yes as I am curious by nature. But do her songs touch my heart? Not really. I haven’t voted any of her songs into the 2015 edition of the Top 2000 as broadcasted by NPO Radio 2 each year from 25-31 December.

In June 2016, Adele will give 4 – sold out – stadium concerts in The Netherlands. The minimum price was 59 euro per ticket. I even noticed – official – ticket prices as of 499 euro. The Adele premium concert tickets now sell for 1,500 euro on the black market (RTL). Allegedly, someone bought 4 of these tickets for 6,000 euro. The official video of Adele’s new song “Hello” has 635,698,668 views at the moment of writing this blog. She may even receive 1 BILLION views – at this speed.

What could explain the immense hype around Adele?

I have just read the lyrics of her new song Hello. There’s hardly any guessing what these words could mean. Everyone can relate to these words as you could – almost – hear yourself saying these words. Often you need to guess what a song really means. Possibly this contradiction contributes to her success. Essentially, we could be – or could have been – like her.

Perhaps we are witnessing a new cultural shift in which there are also no more sexy and skinny models in the new 2016 Pirelli calendar, and no more nudity in Playboy Magazine (NYT). Perhaps we are looking for new female heroes who look – and talk – like us. Adele being the hero of the common working man, and a modern version of Bruce Springsteen (eg, HitFix, MusicTimes).

To some extent, I am afraid that it’s just plain (but excellent) A&R marketing. For many months, I have noticed the building of the current hype. And I don’t believe in coincidences. I just hope that Adele will be person who she wants us to believe she is – the girl next door.

Recently, I played Mark Ronson‘s new CD – Uptown Special – in my car. My son (17) was surprised about some songs as they were so different from the hit song Uptown Funk. Adele used that same (valid) argument for not releasing her new “25” album on streaming music services, as people will only listen to her hit songs and ignore the rest. The great track “I Can’t Lose” may even be better than the hit Uptown Funk but it was just a promotional single. So few people will know it. What a waste.

I have another fear when it comes to Adele. It’s the old saying and a quote from Isaac Newton: “What goes up, must come down”. It is the fate of any hype that a new hype comes along which makes us forget about the previous hype. The Eagles used this phenomenon in their song “New kid in town“.

Don Henley: “It’s about the fleeting, fickle nature of love and romance. It’s also about the fleeting nature of fame, especially in the music business. We were basically saying, ‘Look, we know we’re red hot right now but we also know that somebody’s going to come along and replace us — both in music and in love”. (Wiki)

I, I will be king. And you, you will be queen. Though nothing will drive them away. We can beat them, just for one day. We can be Heroes, just for one day. David Bowie – Heroes

There’s talk on the street; it sounds so familiar. Great expectations, everybody’s watching you. People you meet, they all seem to know you. Even your old friends treat you like you’re something new. They will never forget you ’til somebody new comes along. Eagles – New Kid In Town

Adele – Someone like you (2011) – artist, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

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