58: Adele: 25

It can easily be underplayed just precisely how big Adele’s music is, it can seem sometimes that she is single handedly keeping the very concept of recorded music sales afloat. Her last album ’21’ is currently the second best selling album in Britain ever (a trifling 20th in the world, which is hardly worth even getting out of bed for) around 400’000 copies behind ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, though while The Beatles released that album in a time when the competition was fierce, Adele stands now as pretty much the only musical artist who’s selling albums in any considerable weight whatsoever. So ’25’ arrives, intending to charm those same 21.3 million people again, preaching to that converted and perverted market of people who have heard of neither YouTube or Spotify. And by God it sounds like a record aimed squarely at the type of people who would describe their favourite type of music as ‘John Lewis’. I know, I know, Adele’s music was clearly not broke and so it wouldn’t make much (financial) sense to fix it, but still it’s disappointing how safe ’25’ is, you’d hope that Adele would use her untouchability to take a track or two into truly interesting places, instead this album is undeniably well done but depressingly unambitious. Even ’21’s lead single ‘Rolling in the Deep‘ sounds like Scott Walker’s ‘Tilt’ in comparison to the horrified aversion to any sort of experimentation on show here. As the record company’s only sure-fire success left it would be commercial suicide to differentiate it even slightly from it’s behemoth predecessor so what’s left is a soulless hole that will likely leave you cold. It will probably sell another 20 million, and we’ll learn nothing in the process, but at least albums will continue to be financially viable for another 12 months.

‘Fun’ Fact: When Gordon Brown was Prime Minister (honest he was, ask your parents) he wrote to Adele to thank her for keeping the nation’s mood up during the recession, calling her “A light at the end of the tunnel”. I’m sorry, but what the actual suffering fuck?

Is it all as depressingly formulaic as a Formula 1 driver in a Formula boat eating baby formula while chanting ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost? The trinitarian formula you mean? I think that’s a little too obscure a reference. It’s pretty much that bad, yes, though I’d like more songs like ‘(Send My Love) To Your New Lover)that even slightly bend the formula

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