October 11, 2015

Return of the Queen

When I first heard Adele it was almost like a physical blow, a shock to the system I can only compare to my first experience of Aretha.  In a pop milieu in which stars are generally picked for physical attributes or a particular stylistic pose, Adele broke through with sheer, even brutal emotional power.  No autotune required:

Xykon, the Lich Lord from Order of the Stick might have been thinking of Adele when he said:
Only two things matter: Force in as great a concentration as you can manage, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide. In any battle, there's always a level of force against which no tactics can succeed ... yes, I am a sorcerer — and this magic is in my bones, not cribbed-off "Magic for Dummies". And I can keep casting the same friggin' spell at you until you roll over and die. You can have your finely-tuned watch -- give me the sledgehammer to the face any day.

What made Adele astonishing was that she could actually do it.  Every boy imagines running out on the football field and smashing everyone and getting a touchdown, but after a few tries he figures out that no one is that strong: some dodging and trickery is required.  When power fails, one resorts to art.

Adele never learned that.  She brings eight cases of Samsonite and starts smashing things with them.  It's so pure and powerful it's difficult to even make fun of, although I liked Julieanne Smolinksi's "my body is ready" tweet (since deleted) as the singer prepared to sing "Skyfall" on Oscar night.

Which is why I was sorry to hear about her voice troubles, and am delighted to report that, once again, she is advancing toward the microphone.

Like cockroaches suddenly caught in the beam of an 800 mm candlepower searchlight, lesser artists are scattering:
The major labels have realised it’s essential they get out any big releases [early] because from November 20, it’s very likely to be about one woman only. She will dominate pre-Christmas sales. 
That’s why Justin Bieber, Kylie Minogue and One Direction are going head-to-head the week before - usually the record companies would want a No1 album with artists that big but in this case they simply want to get the album out there before Adele.

Heh, heh, lookit 'em run.

This could be good.


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