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Adele Adele Adele

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
edited September 2016 in General
Firstly I must say that I quite like Adele. However, I've not heard anything off her latest album, 25, that seems remarkable to me.  It seems that every BBC radio show I listen to must mention Adele at least once in every hour and for a good few minutes to boot. There was the Graham Norton Evening with Adele. So why the astonishment that her album has shot to the top of the charts ? It would be remarkable if it hadn't after this degree of exposure.  On Radio 1 the other day I heard one DJ drop in a quip completely unrelated to the subject at the time which mentioned Adele and thereafter he (and his co presenter) dragged out a tiresome exchange mentioning the name Adele over seven minutes of the show.  Have BBC presenters been told that they must mention Adele ? I really don't want to be tired of hearing her name but I'm afraid I am now.  As the old marketing adage goes: say something three times and it becomes true. I even heard Janis Long talk about Adele mentioning her name the magic three times. The same too for an early morning Radio 2 DJ whose speciality is 60s and 70s music.  They do this with Coldplay too.  It seems that the BBC have their favourites (Queen and Roxy Music are others) which get promoted on a level that would cost millions upon millions if the artists were paying for the publicity on a commercial basis. The BBC isn't meant to be a commercial station but there's something fishy going on here.

Comments

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Thus it has ever been.  No different to Duran Duran, the Beatles, and even Simon and Garfunkel to name a few.  When I was a kid I remember Radio Caroline and London analysing every little detail of Beatles gossip. Just how many times have you heard whispering Bob tell the story of how he was part of the recording of Give Peace a Chance?  I recall Paul Gambacini going absolutely wild over The Eagles.  I specifically remember that one because I've never liked them myself and it really used to grate. 

     

    BBC Radios One and Two effectively cater for fashion past and present.  Those are the acts that were, and have remained, fashionable.  It'd be like a supermarket not advertising at Christmas if they didn't do it.

     

    Adele's label's A&R man has obviously earned his/her pay, like many before.

     

    With so many advertising outlets these days, and so many different media, actually the price of advertising has come down enormously.  Companies don't have bigger budgets to throw around just because there's more outlets, but the market reaction is that the unit cost of advertising has fallen through the floor.  I take your point, but it's no longer million and millions worth.  End of the day individual DJs need to be seen to be hip and fashionable so they talk about what's hot, and in the context of older music, what used to be.  If they don't respond to the majority, and only react to the few, then they're out of a job.  Look how close Radio 6 came to closing  a couple of years ago - that doesn't cater for the bulk of the Licence Payers and as a minority station (albeit not driven by political correctness) people complain just as much about money being spent on that if they aren't into it's output.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • SmartySmarty Posts: 402Member
    I'm getting tired of both her and Sam Smith to be honest. Neither offers anything different in terms of creativity. But this is where the music industry seems to be heading these days. Old, tired, inoffensive, safe = good; creative, risky, new, edgy = bad. It makes one long for the Sex Pistols.
  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Smarty, get into folk music:

     



     

    Actually worth a close listen because the words are really clever.  Tim Cotterell who played on this and was the producer was in the band that appeared at in the October concert I promoted in my village - he's a walking buddy of mine (actually as were the other band members).

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • SmartySmarty Posts: 402Member
    Already a big fan Reg! Currently "digging" This is The Kit and Adem's new album. Massive Richard Thompson fan too!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,690Member

    I have noticed the recent hype/promotional blurb/whatever you want to call it, on the BBC, re Adele's recent album release. I have been doing my best, with reasonable success, to ignore it, and have not knowingly heard a single not of the album. Anyway I'm about to listen to "Hello" on Youtube, just to see what I think, will report back in a few minutes...

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,690Member

    And half way through the song, but I already know I don't think that much to it. Inevitable, but actually I do think I've been exposed to snatches of it before, despite my trying to avoid it. She sings well enough, and certainly has a set of pipes on her, but to my ears there is a kind of generic quality to her style. Quite a lot of singers these day seem to equate "belting it out" with the idea of conveying emotion - I find it a bit of a sledgehammer approach - kind of a bit obvious, and lacking true subtlety and depth. Whitney Houston could do that, and make it work - I'm not so sure for most of those that have followed. The song sounds a bit generic and 'written to order' also, though I understand it's one of hers. These are just my own impressions though, maybe I'm just getting old and set in my ways, and not in tune with modern trends in music. image

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,690Member

    Actually I do come over like a sad old fuddy-duddy above - I should just leave Adele to do what she does, and best of luck to her. Can't blame someone for being successful, and taste in music is so subjective. Should have taken a leaf out of Reg's book, and concentrate on being positive about the music I am keen on...

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,623Member

    I rarely listen to any new music - it's Five Live for me, until I've heard the news three times at which point I turn over to Classic FM. Shostakovich rocks!

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator

    I love what I have heard of the new Adele album. Ken Bruce has it as his Album of the Week spot and he plays a track every day, as I sit and wait for Mrs J.

    Talking of hearing on the radio. Today I heard "Into The Mystic", by Van Morrison, for the first time, and it blew me away. Loved the bass line (car great for bass). Sweet and simple.

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,623Member

    Now you're talking, Jocko. I did 45 minutes cycling to Creedence Clearwater Revival's first album yesterday, and the day before it was Please Please Me ( a nice short album when one is on the turbo trainer!). I think it's going to be a long time before I need any new music.

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 788Member

    The BBC do seem to have some 'safe' favourites. I'm not sure I would know Sam Smith if I fell on top of him. Guy Garvey/Elbow gets or at least seems to be heavily sponsored by the Corp. There are lots of special concerts over the years featuring Elbow but completely missing main stream performers. Adele I personally have a problem with, I find her song writing is very good but her performance irritates me to the point of turning it off, (Dido also had that effect on me). It's me and therefore not a huge problem, she just seems out of tune a bit too much and the diction/presentation is sacrificed a little too much for the fashionable 'noises' and such that are her signature voice. I could be accused of being hypocritical here because I also dislike the modern trend of using Antares Autotune to make the talent sound as good as they look.

    As I said it's a personal/taste thing and it's good to see a young working mum being successful in the current difficult musical climate, I wish her good luck. 

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,623Member

    At a risk of digressing, it's funny you mention Autotune. For a long time I've been frustrated at my own attempts to play in tune. When I listen to recordings of myself with bands I'm forever cringing about how out-of-tune I am, but I'm powerless to improve it. Listening to the aforementioned Creedence album I hear exactly the same tuning issues. I wonder if all the perfectness that we hear on the wireless these days has made us more sensitive to what used to be acceptable?

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Here's a thought that just occurred to me rereading this thread.  If we think about all the acts we perceive that Auntie is promoting, none of them are "manufactured" or come out of the Cowellsphere.  Perhaps it's just that DJs are rebelling against that sort of music and try to counter it.  I know I'd certainly try to do that if I was in their position.  They can't come out and just say they don't like it, but they can positively promote other mainstream music.  Whether that's a beeb edict or just a cohort of Djs acting in unison who knows - on the other hand the Cowellsphere exists in another channel.

     

    Anyway, I respect Adele for what she's achieved, especially that first album before the record company execs obviously got hooked into her.  Same with Paloma Faith - you might not think an old folkie like me would like Paloma but she seems to plough her own furrow, and is mad as a box of frogs with it, which I always like.

     

    I'd have more of a problem if all the DJs were fawning over the manufactured stuff that comes out of talent shows.  Bring back Hughie Green I say.

     

    Derek, does your average punter have such a keenly developed ear as you?  If not, don't bother about it.  Do your bandmates?  Maybe it's them, not you

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator

    Listening to Adele again today and it dawned on my. One track a day, mixed in with the rest of Radio 2's output, fine. The album, all tracks back to back, too intense, too depressing.

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,623Member

    There are a lot of albums like that, Jocko!

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Yeah, like any album that features more than one truck and one railroad....

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,623Member

    ...or a lighthouse keeper, a wheelwright, and a girl called Molly.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I'll give you a Molly, or a Nancy.  Not sure about the other two.  Of course the original truckers song is Jolly Waggoners:



    Those C&W types are just newbie upstarts.

  • Pete_BPete_B Posts: 28Member

    Lol, don't think I've ever heard an Adele song, but I've heard a lot of Watersons

  • AlidoreAlidore Posts: 523Member

    Lol, don't think I've ever heard an Adele song, but I've heard a lot of Watersons

    Pete.

    “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.”
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,180Member
    Originally Posted by Derek_R:

    At a risk of digressing, it's funny you mention Autotune. For a long time I've been frustrated at my own attempts to play in tune. When I listen to recordings of myself with bands I'm forever cringing about how out-of-tune I am, but I'm powerless to improve it. Listening to the aforementioned Creedence album I hear exactly the same tuning issues. I wonder if all the perfectness that we hear on the wireless these days has made us more sensitive to what used to be acceptable?

    I'd rather listen to Tom Waits "singing"   than to someone cheating with autotune!

     

    I can't really comment about the wireless aspect theory other than to feel it makes sense as I gave up listening to music that way a long, long time ago.

  • SmartySmarty Posts: 402Member
    I don't mind the occasional bum notes in vocals (or guitar for that matter). I think it adds a certain charm and humanity to a performance.  I'd certainly rather hear a performance that varied a little, than a pitch perfect performance that never deviated from the original.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator

    I agree wholeheartedly. I have always preferred a slightly dodgy live album to the same band's studio album. I recently mentioned seeing Rebecca Downes, and on the back of it I bought her album. Good, but nowhere near the feeling of the live band. A live recording would have been so much closer to what I heard and felt at her concert.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I think of live and studio as two different mediums to be honest, each with their own merits.

     

    I have a theory why live sometimes feels a lot better that studio albums, and why the first album of an artist is often head and shoulders above that "difficult second album".

     

    So in best Anne Elk (Miss) style, this is my theory, it is mine and what it is:

     

    Apart from a first album, songs tend to be written for an album, and then recorded largely before they have then been performed extensively live.  The songs aren't "lived in".  Then when the album gets toured and certain songs embed themselves into a set they become road worn and evolve.  Often they are pared down compared to an album because there's no multi-tracking by individual musicians.  Therefore they evolve into a different beast from the original recorded track.  If the London Phil have been used in the recording, it's unlikely except in rare situations that they will appear on stage during a live gig in the sticky carpet back room of The Sweaty Jockstrap.

     

    First albums are different in that unless it's some talent show winner that hasn't done a thousand or so open mics and gigs before recording (I recall Ed Sheeran had counted some 3,000 live performances prior to recording his first album) then tracks are going to be well honed and lived in through live performance.  The songs on that tricky second album won't have had that same treatment, or if they have, wouldn't have been considered strong enough for the first album and therefore end up being fillers on the second album if enough new material hasn't been developed to meet the record company's contractual timescale.

     

    That is my theory, which is mine, and what it is.

     

    I wonder if some artists, after extensive touring wish they could go back and record some tracks in their evolved state?

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • StevefStevef Posts: 9Member

    I'd only heard (or saw on YouTube) Adele's earlier songs, such as Rolling in the Deep, Set Fire to the Rain etc and quite liked them. Then I watched her Albert Hall DVD. Blimey - great when she was performing but did herself no favours with her coarse and inflammatory anti-male chat in between some songs. But I suppose she was young and inexperienced and behaved like many solo fledgelings exposed to audiences and the media (think Robbie Williams).

    A very talented singer, none-the-less. Not too keen on her recent glossy image though; I much prefer the KT Tunstall natural look and 'attitood'. Speaking of which, she's a brilliant rhythm guitarist. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree for example.

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,499Member, Moderator
    I watched Adele in concert on TV: Adele Live in London. It looked more like a massive TV studio and Graham Norton interviewed Adele between each song on a small stage with two armchairs. It looked like a BBC concert.

    It was helpful to see as up until now all I could do is recognise Adele's voice. During this concert I realised that her music didn't interest me because there were no intro, solos or dazzling arrangments, just a musical backdrop that supported Adele's singing. And there was a lot of singing in each song, line after line with almost no pause. She sang well but, for me, the other instruments were just wallpaper. It reminded me of early Frank Sinatra, before Nelson Riddle stepped in with his arrangments and Sinatra's songs and career eneterd a new league. I think Adele would benefit from better arrangements.

    I am pleased for Adele that she is successful and popular.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 749Member
    Stevef said:

    very talented singer, none-the-less. Not too keen on her recent glossy image though; I much prefer the KT Tunstall natural look and 'attitood'. Speaking of which, she's a brilliant rhythm guitarist. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree for example.

    Couldn't agree more. I'm a big fan of KT Tunstall but can take or leave Adele.
    Lester said:

    I watched Adele in concert on TV: Adele Live in London. It looked more like a massive TV studio and Graham Norton interviewed Adele between each song on a small stage with two armchairs. It looked like a BBC concert.

    It was helpful to see as up until now all I could do is recognise Adele's voice. During this concert I realised that her music didn't interest me because there were no intro, solos or dazzling arrangments, just a musical backdrop that supported Adele's singing. And there was a lot of singing in each song, line after line with almost no pause. She sang well but, for me, the other instruments were just wallpaper. It reminded me of early Frank Sinatra, before Nelson Riddle stepped in with his arrangments and Sinatra's songs and career eneterd a new league. I think Adele would benefit from better arrangements.

    Too right. It's one of my big problems with a lot of modern music, in that it is often a wall of constant sound with no dynamics, no real difference between verse and chorus. If you listen to a lot of the old Stax soul arrangements they really knew how to build the song by fitting together all the instruments, like a jigsaw, rather than the modern thing that is more like a layer cake. The drums form the base, then the bass on top, then keyboard pad sounds, then sining, and it's all going on all the time. The singer doesn't have to be singing all the time, and if the guitar only comes in in the chorus, that's fine ...
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