Saturday, November 27

The Return of Adele: The Industry Labels New Album 30 As A “Great World Event” | Adele

TThere has been a rush to define the remaining months of 2021. It will be a winter of discontent, supply chain disruption and possible blackouts; a return after the confinement to get dressed and go out.

It will also undoubtedly be Adele’s season.

This week, the best-selling female album artist of the 21st century announced her return, six years after her last album. A new single, Easy on Me, will be released on October 15th. Their fourth album, 30, is rumored to be in mid-November.

She heralded her new era with two unprecedented simultaneous Vogue covers, sitting for interviews and separate photo shoots for the US and UK editions of the magazine.

She spoke candidly about her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki, with whom she has a nine-year-old son. She was the one leaving, she told British Vogue. “I didn’t want to end up like many other people I knew. It was not me miserable miserable, but I would have been miserable if I hadn’t put myself first. “He spoke of the anguish the separation had caused his son, Angelo, and wrote his new album in part to help him understand the situation of his parents.

Adele on the covers of American Vogue and British Vogue
Adele on the covers of American Vogue and British Vogue. Composition: British Vogue: Steven Meisel / American Vogue: Alasdair Mclellan / CNP

She also spoke of the deep anxiety her much-discussed weight loss caused. “By exercising, I would feel better,” he said. “It was never about losing weight, it was always about getting strong and spending so much time every day without my phone.”

She said she was bothered by the discussion about her change in physical appearance, particularly the suggestion that it was a post-divorce “revenge body”. “People love to portray a divorced woman as out of control, like, ‘Oh, she must be crazy. She must have decided that she wants to be a whore. Because what is a woman without a husband? It’s bullshit.”

She told US Vogue: “I understand why it is a shock. I understand why some women were especially hurt. It visually represented many women. But I’m still the same person. “

BBC Radio 1 host Charlie Hedges said Adele’s transformation was unlikely to affect the way her fans related to her. “What matters is who Adele is on the inside. Adele’s fans are behind her every step of the way, wanting her to be the amazing artist we all know she is and always has been. “

Despite the unfiltered disclosure of these interviews, Adele’s return is world news because she releases music and appears in public with such restraint, says Glastonbury co-organizer Emily Eavis, who invited Adele to headline in 2016.

“She works on her own terms and puts out the records when she’s okay with her, rather than on the usual treadmill,” Eavis said. “So it always feels like a big global event when she puts out music. And it’s always been great. “

Its appeal, Eavis said, was its authenticity. “Adele has an amazing voice and writes great songs, but it’s also her personality that makes her shows so special. You can turn an arena into something incredibly intimate and emotional and then have 100,000 people hysterical. There are very few artists who can do that. She is very honest and shows everyone her true self – there is no mask that is so unique and rare. “

Adele performing at the Glastonbury festival in 2016
Adele performing at the Glastonbury festival in 2016. Photograph: Rex / Shutterstock

Fans hooked on that side of Adele will find a lot to love at 30, following the album descriptions in Vogue. Adele said it was more lyrically subtle than her previous albums: less about settling scores than “self-destruction, then self-reflection, and then a kind of self-redemption.”

She said she didn’t consider it a divorce album: “It was more me divorcing myself.”

Known for her towering ballad, including her 2012 James Bond theme Skyfall, Adele embraced new sounds in 30s: Writers who enjoyed a preview made references to Marvin Gaye, Balearic chillout, and gospel. In addition to previous collaborators Max Martin, Greg Kurstin and Tobias Jesso Jr, he first worked with Inflo, whose albums like Sault have received critical acclaim in recent years.

Whatever the sound of 30, it will be a sure hit in an already packed fourth quarter for pop. The next few months will see new albums by Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, the latest in Taylor Swift’s plan to re-record and claim ownership of her first six albums and Abba’s first album in 40 years.

Martin Talbot, CEO of Official Charts Company, said it was “really hard to remember” any previous such crowded retail period. Despite stiff competition, he predicted that Adele would finish ahead. “It is difficult to see beyond it, especially given the enormous size of the market it attracts, from teenagers to retirees.”

Album sales continued to flourish during the pandemic, Talbot said, and independent retailers reported strong business as they moved to home delivery. “But transmission has also increased and represents a larger share of the market.”

This would benefit Sheeran, a streaming native, he said; Meanwhile, Adele didn’t release her latest album, 25, on streaming services until six months after its release. His plans for 30 remain secret. “I think I’m actually one of the most punk artists out there,” she told British Vogue. “My music, absolutely not. But the way I move is very punk. “

Speedy aside, the prevailing tenor of these upcoming releases is quite majestic and solemn. It has become the predominant sound on the UK album chart, with young artists like Lewis Capaldi taking influence from Adele, who is increasingly diverging from the Top 40 singles.

“The biggest albums tend to hit their big numbers by attracting the most diverse audience of all, genuinely crossing over to casual consumers who might not otherwise buy music, except for that great album that everyone loves,” Talbot said. “Perhaps where we tend to find our musical consensus is in reflection and relaxation.”

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