Has any artist ever thrown down the gauntlet at the beginning of a year quite like Adele did with 21? Arriving on January 24, 2011 (in the United Kingdom, that is; it hit shelves in the States a month later), 21 quickly became not just the defining musical blockbuster of that year, but also of the still-young decade. No album since has had the same impact on the music world, or the world as a whole. 21 briefly made it feel like no one had ever heard another breakup album before. The mythology around the album (“Who broke Adele’s heart?” was a common question), along with the strength of the songs, made for a moment in music history that was genuinely monocultural. These days, it seems like there’s nothing everyone can share as common ground – period, let alone musically. 21 was different: a true four-quadrant classic that had something for everyone. From the pop music stans to the music critics to the songwriting classicists, Adele checked every box. Looking back, it feels like the last album that everyone could agree on. In terms of cultural significance, chart dominance, Grammy chances, and a million other metrics, every other artist who released something in 2011 was competing for second place.
While 21 dropped in January. I have never thought of it as a “winter” album. One of the (many) disadvantages to being a broke college student living in an outdated dorm in the winter of 2011 was that you had no good method to hear the latest music as it was breaking. Spotify hadn’t launched in the U.S. yet, paying for downloads via iTunes (or driving somewhere to buy a CD) wasn’t in the budget, and pirating music over the ethernet-only internet connection was both slow as hell and risky. That’s why I often went months without hearing the music that everyone else was talking about, 21 included. In this particular case, though, the delay proved to be serendipitous. Read More “Adele – 21”
Adele mentioned at a friend’s wedding that her new album will be coming in September.
Read More “Adele Says New Album Coming in September”
Adele has canceled the last two Wembley shows this weekend. She’s released a statement on Twitter.
Read More “Adele Cancels Wembley Shows”
Adele has confirmed in a letter to fans that she may be taking a break from touring:
Touring is a peculiar thing, it doesn’t suit me particularly well. I’m a real homebody and I get so much joy in the small things. Plus I’m dramatic and have a terrible history of touring. Until now that is! I’ve done 119 shows and these last 4 will take me up to 123, it has been hard out an absolute thrill and pleasure to have done. I only ever did this tour for you and to hopefully have an impact on you the way that some of my favourite artist have had on me live. And I wanted my final shows to be in London because I don’t know if I’ll ever tour again and so I want my last time to be at home.
Adele will be performing at the Grammy awards.
Adele’s 25 has gone diamond.
On the strength of the seven-times platinum single “Hello” as well as hit singles “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and “When We Were Young,” 25 reached diamond in a little over 10 months. Her previous album, 2011’s 21, propelled by hits “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You,” took almost two years to hit diamond in November 2012
Here’s a monster of an unenviable task: following up an album that sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, spawned multiple ubiquitous singles, won a truckload of Grammys, spent 24 nonconsecutive weeks at number one, and was labeled by Billboard as “the Greatest Album of All Time”—whatever that means. Adele’s 21 was the kind of phenomenon that doesn’t happen in the music world anymore. Albums are obsolete for the average listener, right? Digital track sales are plummeting? Monoculture is dead? Adele defied every expectation and turned her sophomore album into a cultural sensation that was probably as close as our generation will ever get to having a Thriller. No wonder the British songstress took the better part of five years to drop the follow-up.
Unsurprisingly, 25 has arrived to endless comparisons to its predecessor—many of them unflattering. The reviews are mixed, and while the album will undoubtedly be a juggernaut that breaks sales records and single-handedly keeps the record business on life support for another few years, it’s already pretty clear that 25 is not going to have the legacy of adoration that its world-beating predecessor did. Read More “Adele – 25”