Popcast: Adele Returns

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adele writes open letter to fans about new album ‘25’: ‘This feels like such a long time coming’.

“I am so overwhelmed and grateful to be able to even put another record out, and put it out how I want,” she added, perhaps referring to how she has declined to make “25” available for streaming on services such as Spotify and Apple Music. “The last month has been a whirlwind, it’s literally taken my breath away,” she continued. “I hope you enjoy the record as much as I enjoyed making it for you.”

As part of TV special Adele At The BBC, the Hello singer shows off her acting abilities as she takes on the character of “Jenny”, an Adele impersonator.Some have said Adele’s music can make you miss the lover you haven’t even met or broken up with yet, and judging by social media, lots of folks are going to need a minute. Nine real-life Adele impersonators were then invited to audition for a fictitious pilot programme at the Wimbledon Theatre – alongside the real Adele in disguise. Yohana Desta at Mashable writes that “The wildly anticipated third release delivers what all Adele fans want — big vocals, ballads (heartbroken and otherwise) and the classic soundscape, culled from vintage pop and soul music.” “Technically, Adele has already made this album, two times over,” Desta writes. “She’s swept us off our feet before, stirred our souls so powerfully that 25 is not collectively as game-changing as some might want it to be.” According to Billboard, Columbia Records planned to ship 3.6 million physical copies of the singer’s new album in the United States, making 25 the album with the most new-release CDs shipped in the past decade.

I am only twenty-one years old.” “This album shows Adele’s skill for writing phenomenal songs, as well as the pure talent that she has for singing. During the hour-long programme hosted by Graham Norton, Adele shows off the sense of humour we have missed – photo-bombing fans as they pose with her Oscar by holding up speech bubbles and running behind them wearing a moustache. Music sales have fallen off over the past few years, and no one has posted numbers like that since 2000, when *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached shipped 4.2 million units.

Users are greeted with the following message when they try to listen to the record: “The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify just yet. A Spotify spokesperson confirmed that 25 will not be on Spotify when it’s released Friday. “We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify,” the spokesperson tells EW. “We hope that she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy 25 on Spotify alongside 19 and 21 very soon.” The album will also not be available to stream via Apple Music, though Apple users can purchase 25 on iTunes. “Her soulful new single, ‘Hello, ‘is available to stream on Apple Music along with her entire catalog and her revealing interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1,” Apple said in a statement to EW. She talks candidly with the presenter about her voice, her anxieties and motherhood, and also performs hits old and new – from Rumour Has It to Skyfall to Hello. The album is sure to be a welcome relief to those who have been obsessively listening to the first single, “Hello.” It’s only the fourth single to rack up more than 400,000 digital sales three weeks in a row.

Beautiful production, stunning vocals and devastatingly honest lyrics” – Martin Yates “I should point out from the outset that I am a huge Adele fan. They’re the kinds of sales figures record executives probably thought they’d never see again in an era when moving tens of thousands of units can get you to No. 1.

With melancholy melodies about heartbreak and massive sales, expect lots of comparisons between Adele and Swift, especially from those predicting that the British singer will topple America’s sweetheart as the darling of the music industry. The timing of 25, as the new record is titled, is even more fortuitous given that the industry’s previous savior, Taylor Swift’s 1989, has begun its inevitable commercial descent, plummeting to a scrawny 14 on this week’s Billboard 200 after selling 5.3 million copies in the U.S. alone since its release a little more than a year ago. It probably says something that this decade’s three genuinely transcendent pop stars, Adele, Swift and Beyoncé, are all women and that two of them are using their album titles to tell us how old they are. (Sort of: Swift was born in 1989 but Adele is actually 27.) At any rate, that’s a subject for another essay.

There’s only one Madonna.” Adele also denied turning down a collaboration with Beyoncé, saying: “There’s a rumour going round that I turned Beyoncé down. Although we knew Hello harped back to her ex, you’d expect a triumphant positive ‘look at me know’ type album given how she is in a happy, stable relationship with a gorgeous little boy. It’s hard for me to make a definitive proclamation, since I’ve only had 36 hours with the album; music needs time to reveal its depths, or lack thereof. But the new record’s mix of classic R&B, timelessly roof-rattling ballads, and contemporary pop is very much in keeping with its predecessor: familiar yet not too familiar, and instantly gripping because it’s all sung by that voice. The throat surgery she underwent following a vocal hemorrhage in 2011 has done nothing to diminish either its character or power; brassy yet husky, smoky yet clarion, she still sounds like the result of a genetic experiment fusing Amy Winehouse’s vocal chords with Céline Dion’s lungs, or even Tom Jones’s.

With the help of serial collaborators, some returning, some new, she has conceived another batch of real songs, with real melodies, not just strings of hooks and naked, genuine-seeming emotions. As a singer she is often compared to Aretha Franklin, not altogether ludicrously, but for her own part Franklin would be well-served by paging through Adele’s songbook. It starts out sounding like something off Lana Del Rey’s recent album, Honeymoon, with Adele’s voice taking on a flat affect as she sings over vaguely sinister keyboard chords: Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet / To go over everything / They say time is supposed to heal ya / But I haven’t done much healing Then comes the chorus: big, booming, throbbing with emotion, and instantly addictive—it’s not Lana Del Rey!

But any resolution is strictly musical: Hello from the other side I must have called a thousand times To tell you I’m sorry for everything I’ve done But when I call you never seem to be home Things don’t get much jollier on the rest of the record. “River Lea” is a dark, propulsive collaboration with Danger Mouse—my favorite track, for the moment—in which Adele paints herself as a demanding, impossible-to-satisfy lover… … before asserting in the chorus that she’s not going to change, so tough. This initially struck me as odd in a record called 25 that wasn’t made by someone in her 50s; but on second thought, nostalgia is a young person’s game, at least in my experience. (Those who can still remember the past are condemned to pine for it?) The album’s second single, “When We Were Young,” was in part inspired by “The Way We Were,” and for better or worse sounds like it. (In a shocking confession, Adele told Rolling Stone the older song made her cry when Barbra Streisand reprised it at the Oscars in 2013.) I prefer the similarly backward-looking “A Million Years Ago,” which has a samba-like lilt and a seductive melody. (Adele is backed by a single acoustic guitar.) The album’s thematic centerpiece might be “All I Ask,” yet another piano ballad—Bruno Mars is a co-writer—with a churchy, rolling quality that puts me in mind of Carole King or Elton John. Adele truly captures the theme of yearning to be younger, with less responsibility, than that which comes with becoming an adult” – Sammy-Lee Morrow “Powerful and emotional to describe Adele’s album would be a mere understatement!

Here we find Adele preparing to yearn for a lover who hasn’t yet gotten lost: All I ask / Is if this is my last night with you / Hold me like I’m more than just a friend / Give me a memory I can use. . . . As her chilling, dark mezzo-soprano voice and sad, romantic piano ballads filled my headphones I suddenly found myself in an indescribable deep state of stirred emotion, not all of which were pleasantly felt. Adele has this mesmerising way of getting her audience to not only re-live a bad break-up but perhaps re-live it in such a heart wrenching way that bring up new emotions and cause the overall experience to be felt ten times heavier than the actual break-up. And I’ll go further: as a confessional blockbuster, 25 will prove a worthy successor not just to 21 but also Tapestry, Rumours, and Jagged Little Pill.

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