Saturday, July 09, 2011

The real American Idol is from Britain

Talkin’ ‘bout Adele. Currently the number one singer in the country, with the biggest album of the year so far.

And she didn’t have to wear a green merkin or fly in on wires or appear in Maxim’s Hot 100 or subject herself to ten weeks of being critiqued on national television by idiots like Randy Jackson.

She’s not hot, she’s not flashy, she’s not theatrical, she’s not even from here.

Yet, her music is outselling Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Britney Spears, and even if Betty White had a CD I bet Adele would trump her. It’s great to see that for all the hype and glitz and pyrotechnics of today’s superstar acts, one woman with an extraordinary voice singing songs of depth and meaning has become such a sensation.

Here’s an example. She just sits in a chair. Adele will be on tour in the U.S. later this summer. Pull up a chair yourself.

34 comments:

Pete Grossman said...

Killer pipes from a blue-eyed soulstress.

Kurt Munro said...

Well she did go to BRIT School which is about as embarrassing as appearing on Idol...

Mike McCann said...

An exceptional performance of a first-rate song. That would have been a hit in '66, '86, or today. And she seems so darned normal. How refreshing!

dgwPhotography said...

This is so refreshing. Just coming out and nailing a classic song...

sephim said...

Unfortunately, I heard the GLEE version first.

The song is forever ruined for me by Jonathon Groff's Chad Kroeger-esque "emoting"...

Rich said...

Um...wow!

Anonymous said...

Well, finally - a great ARTIST. Adelle is making a contribution to furthering outstanding music. Phil Spector once said in an interview back in 1969 how few groups or artists were making CONTRIBUTIONS to pushing the boundries of pop music. Contribution was the key word. Of course, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles all made contributions to music. That is the significance. Lack of music contributions in pop music by most Top 40 artists since around 1987-88 (Paula Abdul, anyone - or, remember Taylor Dane?) pretty much forgot about what a contribution to music was all about. And this certainly applies to the pop star scene right now. Adelle is making a contribution, I'm sure Phil would agree. Keith Richards has made one of the biggest music contributions of all time - pretty close to his idols of the Blues and r&b. There are no Keith Richards...or John Lennons around today. But, hat's off to Adelle. And Steven Tyler...you're no Mick Jagger...never even came close.

Paul Duca said...

It's nice to see Mrs. Twincity doing something with her life other than waiting for husband Joe to come home, waiting at the door with his favorite drink (martini, very dry, two olives).

Mac said...

Yup. Despite Simon Cowell's all-powerful mediocrity-factory, real talent does sometimes slip out.
People want genuine passionate singers, always will - as her album sales prove.

Johnny Walker said...

Huh. So she's going for the "I've got real talent" angle, eh? Interesting.

Johnny Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce said...

Can't remember when and where I first saw this video but I immediately went to Amazon and bought here cd's and they've been some of my favorite "new" music for a while now. She's fabulous

jbryant said...

Hope she made her Grammy shelf extra long, because the two she has now are sure to be joined by several others this February.

Ref said...

Wow! Wotta setta pipes! And she's a "real" shaped woman to top it off.

Please Don't Eat Me said...

Sadly, if reports are true, Adel had to cancel her North American tour due to laryngitis or some other ongoing medical issue.

Adam said...

To be fair, Lady Gaga actually does have an incredible voice. Like amazing voice. However, her antics and being such a whore really don't do it for me.

Anonymous said...

Its just like last year, with Mumford and Sons. They had awesome bluegrass music and such, and a year later, they're still on Amazons 100 top paid albums. Talent > Glamour.

legal step said...

I'm pretty sure RIhanna is hotter.

Dave-El said...

I love Adele's voice. I love that "Rolling in the Deep" is a top hit amid a sea of autotuned synthetic pop.

However...

Who thought the following lyric was necessary?

"Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your shit out bare."

I'm no prude; sometimes 'no' is not enough, you gotta say 'hell no'. Sometimes saying 'stuff' or even 'crap'is not enough, you gotta call something out for the 'shit' it really is. I appreciate the raw frankness of her threat in the face of her erstwhile lover's betrayal. But it does make for an awkward moment when the song is played on the radio and the word is dropped or garbled over. Dummy that I am, I thought she was saying something in French. "What exactly does 'le yeux chi ou bere' mean?" I wondered in my initial ignorance.

Ken, as a writer for network television that has to mind its language and as a writer of a blog that has not shied away from the profane, what is the thought process between 'dang' and 'damn'? And did "Rolling in the Deep" really need go there with the use of the work 'shit' or is that ultimately the only word truly works?

Simeon said...

Adele is one of those special talents that come along too infrequently in one’s lifetime. Her voice is so rich and so raw at the same time. Her songs are sung with a maturity that far exceeds her years. She’s still really only a kipper, but the way she turns a phrase can bring tears to my eyes.

I listen to the general grist churned out by the record industry – hell, by the film and TV industry, too, for that matter - and can only shake my head at the mediocrity. Generally because some industry exec with a business degree has determined there is an “audience” for it.

Yes, mass media has opened up an opportunity for lots of artists to be heard and seen – yet, too often, they have been duped into believing that what they are producing has merit and that they deserve to be stars. But being stars is the goal, not making worthwhile music, or TV or films.

I fear her new found fame – and the all consuming thirst for everything “celebrity” - just may stifle and smother all her natural gifts and inclinations. Cause let’s face it, we tend to kill the artist (metaphorically and sometimes literally) far before their time.

emily said...

I think it's "...Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your SHIP bare..."

I could be wrong. I was wrong once before.

J S Swanson said...

I love it. A Great Song from the Definitive Singer. And a Killer video to boot!

Frank Paradise said...

They just don't sing songs like that anymore!

xjill said...

Adele is amazing and her live performance of "Someone Like You" is ASTOUNDING. Here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qemWRToNYJY

I also have her "iTunes Live from SoHo" album from a few years ago and highly recommend it.

Also, yes, sadly her tour is cancelled for now due to laryngitis.

Breadbaker said...

Hey, Ken, loved listening to you tonight, even though the game, to put it mildly sucked.

Three thoughts:

1. I was thinking when the M's had come back to 4-3 and then fallen behind 7-3, that the effort felt Sisyphusian. And what did you say to start the next inning? I'm sure all readers of this blog understood it.

2. "Hersey" Hawkins, not Hershey.

3. After the game, I listened to the Rainiers game with Mike Curto. Have you ever met him? You two have the same timbre to your voices. He's a great announcer, by the way.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for pointing this out, Ken. I think Adele is amazing and so fresh. The opening to "Rolling In The Deep" has an early 60's folk song feel to it. I heard her interviewed on a local radio show and she came across as quite down to earth and very charming. I'm glad that her music is selling so well.

RyderDA said...

If you like Adele, two words: Melody Gardot. Mind blowing.

jbryant said...

"Lay your ship bare" is a nautical reference, as is the very title of the song. I understand the confusion has led to some unnecessary bleeping and drop-outs on the radio.

Dave-El said...

@ emily said...I think it's "...Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your SHIP bare..."

Before my earlier French phrase guess, I thought the word might be "ship" too but I didn't get the metaphor. Perhaps an old British nautical expression: "Aye, matey! Don't pull that on me or I'll lay your ship bare."

A radio station that my young daughter likes to listen to (with all the autotuned teen targeted dance drivel so "Rolling in the Deep" really stands out), Adele is clearly saying "sh.." something. Then I heard the song on another station and the word is completely dropped out. (This same station also edits out the word "sex" from Rhianna's "S&M".) So did some research and yeah, she's saying "shit". Depends on the station if it's cut short ("sh..") or cut out.

I heard a local band perform "Rolling in the Deep." Sounded good (not Adele great but still, pretty good) but they were performing at a family event and the singer just dropped out the word...which just really called attention to it more than if she had substituted something. (Stuff? Soul? Ship?)

"Rolling in the Deep" is on the latest Kidz Bop CD. Kind of interested to see how they deal with it.

Still love the song and Adele is a great talent. But if my kid asks what she's saying, I'll tell her it, "She's saying 'ship'. It's an old British nautical expression."

Fallen Rose said...

Awesome.

cshel said...

Adele is amazing! I love her!

The previous poster is right about the live performance of "Someone Like You". It is astounding.

I also really like Lady GaGa, though. She's fun and interesting, and she does have a good voice and musical talent under all that hoopla. Variety is the spice of life. : )

Rene said...

She's funny too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOojCvo_luo&feature=related

Mark said...

Hi Ken:

Check out this Adele video. Definitely worth a few minutes of time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08DjMT-qR9g

Loosehead said...

She occasionally substitues "lay your stuff bare". Depends on the situation I guess. On Ellen it was "shit", on Letterman it was "stuff".
Agree about the voice though. A. Mazing.