Monday, August 8, 2011

Adele and the Absence of Taste

I hear that kids these days are into this woman singing here to the right. Her name(at least on stage) is Adele. You can hear her on any radio anytime. She is omnipresent and omnipotent when it comes to singing. That is if you were to ask anybody with the emotional capacity of a twelve year old. Which let's be most of us. I am hear to challenge the idea that she is worthy of any praise beyond that of a normal pop singer. I've been listening to her songs recently as an..interested observer. I have come to the simple and seemingly insane conclusion that she is overrated. Let me clarify. If I had a nickel for every time Dirk Nowitzki was compared to Larry Bird..I could whore out Donald Trump. Dirk for all his talent and glory is no Larry Bird. NO ONE is Michael Jordan. Brett Favre is no Dan Marino and Cedric Benson at best was a third down running back despite comparisons to Jim Brown when he entered the league. Adele is no Christina Aguilera. She's no Beyonce and for anyone who has compared her to the great female singers... Kindly close your mouth in a fashion that most efficiently ceases the noise. Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald could have run a 10k, eaten breakfast and sang At Last 57 times before Adele could have even attempted to sing the right pitch.  Diana Ross would have sweetly smiled and sang every Adele song ever a warmup. That being said..Let's delve into why this moderately talented singer is severely overrated.

I understand completely that most pop artists worlds revolve around three chords and that they are considered geniuses when they add a fourth chord and throw a deceptive cadence in there. I quite frankly love most of these artists. I'm picking on Adele because according to anyone who's anyone these days she's a musical and lyrical genius. She's not. I've been listening to her songs that are on youtube, which is just about all of them. Here's the insane variety of Chord structure. One. Five. Four. One. Four. Five. One. Rinse. Repeat. In her hit song Someone Like You she throws you off by going from the one chord to six first rather than five. Guess who else has done that? Every student who has taken music theory for dummies. Oh guess what other hit song of hers does the exact same thing? Rolling In The Deep. Which is potentially the most overplayed song of the year along with almost all of Rihanna's. The artist with the biggest variety of chord and overall sound? Dave Matthews and Muse. Dave uses infinite varieties of chords and instruments for all of his songs. Muse just has an insane diversity and incredible musical taste in every album.

It's hard to completely criticize this part of her because there are very few artists that actually do something other than 4/4 but I've yet to find one of hers that isn't. Someone Like You is in cut time which in layman's pop terms is the exact same. The most rhythmically diverse pop artist? Dave Matthews. No one comes close to the rhythmic diversity they employ.

Her lyrics make me laugh. I'm no grammatical expert but last time I checked if you were writing only love songs you should at least attempt to make them sound correct and like poetry. I quote "Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringin' me out the dark." Now you may go..well it's just missing a preposition no big deal right? Wrong. Let's take the preposition out of some famous phrases. "To be or not to be" Becomes "Be or not be" Shakespeare. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Becomes "You can't stand the heat, get out the kitchen." Harry Truman. "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." Becomes "A lie gets halfway the world the truth has a chance get its pants." Winston Churchill. Can you imagine if Churchill had said that in public? He'd have been taken from office and we'd all be a part of Germany and under Hitler's sons thumb. Kanye West would have liked that since he apparently thinks Hitler was a great man but that's a different story. Again this isn't a criticism of her in comparison with the majority of pop artists, this is a criticism of her when compared with anybody worth their salt. The artist with the best lyrics? Take your pick..there's a ton of artists with great lyrics. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Simon and name but a very, very few with great lyrics.

Singing sucks. Is she better than Miley Cyrus? is my 2 year old nephew. Is she better than Taylor Swift? is my 2 year old nephew. Is she even comparable to Beyonce? No. Is she comparable to Gaga? No. Is she comparable to any great artist pre-1980s? No. Yet people go around touting her as one of the great voices and artists of our time! She's sappy and doesn't sing above a G4 unless to move down as quickly as possible. She hardly ever starts a phrase without adding a huge amount of glottal and someone never told her as a kid that a diphthong is incorrect in most languages. The start of her Youtube sensation Someone Like You has the words "I heard". This is an accurate representation of what she actually says. iiiiyyyeeeeaahhhh hhhuuuuaaarrddd. That could be Swahili. She cancelled quite a few concerts of her last tour due to Laryngitis which...I'm fairly positive translates to:"My voice is shot because I don't know how to sing so cancel the next couple of stops."

I am very excited for the fanboy fury that may occur from this. I think Adele is a decent artist by today's standards but for the love of all that is good and true. Refrain from comparing her to anyone other than someone that is a sappy singer with not much talent and an unimaginative set of songs. With that I bid you...Ado...or Adele.

1 comment:

  1. I have never even heard the name. But I'm an old and I only listen to the Ticket on the radio. I enjoyed the review though.