Adele Adkins (London, 1988) uses two main arguments to defend her fourth album against the automatisms of the critics: first, that it is not her “American album”, even though she has been living in Los Angeles for several years; second, that it is not a typical “divorce album” either, despite having recently gone through that trance. In parentheses, you understand the transfer. Just look out the window for any Briton to understand that their stars prefer to settle in California. What is particularly troublesome in the old kingdom is that this move is backed by a americanización of his art, in concession to the main world market. It is known in the British record industry as “doing a Rod Stewart”, in reference to his goodbye-goodbye that was his album Atlantic Crossing.
The truth is that no, that 30 (Sony) doesn’t sound that different from its three predecessors. Adele continues to need multi-talented collaborators to polish her songs, with the occasional reinforcement from Team Sweden — producers Max Martin and Shellback, now with the addition of Ludwig Göransson — to tune up certain tunes they need. hooks, commercial hooks. The piano ballads continue to appear, with discreet choirs. The American residence is hardly noticeable. Well, there is ‘All Night Parking’, that jazzy collaboration from beyond the grave with the pianist Erroll Garner (who died in 1977, nothing can object). If you thought Adele wanted to compete in formal audacity with her idolized Beyoncé, forget it: the most American thing is surely the apotheosis piece that closes the album, ‘Love Is a Game’, which could be confused with some standard forgotten from Tin Pan Alley in New York in the 1940s.
His son is the excuse for the most embarrassing moment on the album. In ‘My Little Love’ recordings arising from a therapy session of the child and the mother on account of the divorce are inserted
However, it should be pointed out. Technically, 30 yes that is his first American album. After fulfilling her three-disc deal with the London-based independent XL, Adele has signed on with the giant Sony, which previously was simply a distributor of her product in North America. Frustration for XL, who believed he had built enough muscle to transport Adele on her next journey, after dealing with a headstrong rookie who was slow to adjust to the realities of the business. Surely, after the honeymoon, Sony will also need a learning period, being an artist whose instinctive response to any new proposal is “no” (then, of course, agrees to negotiate).
Don’t think that Adele fits the profile of a fickle diva. But she is suspicious and knows the need to tread carefully. She watched in dismay the skidding of various contemporary vocalists. Duffy lost credibility over some goofy Diet Coke ads. Lily Allen got involved in bitter controversies on the networks that overshadowed her music. Above all, she watched in horror at the annihilation of Amy Winehouse, who — apart from being a direct inspiration — had been trained at the London BRIT School, where Adele was also professionally educated.
The Amy thing touched him intimately: he belonged to the working house and grew up in a broken home, like Adele. The experience of the interpreter of ‘Rehab’ at least limited his excesses to alcohol and cigarettes. Consciously, she avoided certain types of dangerous boyfriends, preferring relationships with older, more focused men. Such details are not trivial in the case of an artist who organizes her work according to her chronology: you already know that the titles of 19, 21, 25 and now, 30 correspond to their age at the time of preparation of each album, which should reflect their corresponding sentimental temperature.
From the beginning, Adele had old-soul ways. She decided early on that the big festivals weren’t for her: there she lost control over her show and her charisma diminished. He resisted for an honorable time the streaming, valuing the links established by physical formats. He also purged his gang with MI6 techniques: if he suspected the loyalty of a member, he shared some invented intimacy; if the (false) secret appeared in a tabloid, of those who pay cash for confidences, the unfaithful person was blacklisted. The method must have worked: the voracious British press failed to cover her wedding or subsequent relationship with rapper Skepta, who now appears to be referenced in the song ‘Woman Like Me’.
Heart-pounding cuts suggest that Adele is dating again and enjoying new friends. We found even his most sexual song, ‘Oh My God’
And we get to the elephant in the room: is it 30 a rupture disc? Not in the sense of developing a statement of charges against the other person or of reconciliation suggestions. In any case, it is a record of a divorced woman facing her new life. Heart-pounding cuts suggest that Adele is dating again and enjoying new friends. We even find his song surely more sexual, ‘Oh My God’. She is the new Adele, blessed by Oprah Winfrey in an interview where the presenter envies her current figure: 45 kilos lost without dieting, thanks to regular visits to a Hollywood gym. Without forgetting the reports for Vogue, They portray Adele as a role model. Of course, the average reader of that magazine does not have enough cash to buy a second home on her street in Beverly Hills, for the use and enjoyment of her ex, Simon Konecki. It is, explains the singer, that he has regular access to their son, Angelo, whose custody they share.
In fact, Angelo is the excuse for the most embarrassing moment of 30: in ‘My Little Love’ recordings arising from a therapy session of the child and the mother on account of the divorce are inserted. Perhaps it is taking the plausibility strategy too far.
‘30′. Adele. Sony.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.