Is giving the people what they want a good thing?
Internet breaking is a trend these days. Well, maybe more of a goal or a standard of success. If you can “break the internet” you are a force to be reckoned with, not only that, you rule the scene and will be talked about until someone else can take the public’s rapidly changing attention. But what if you break the internet, but deliver a product that doesn’t live up to the expectations based on the glory of previous works? It happens.
It can happen to your favorite artist any day. Well, it has happened to one of my favorites and I am hesitant to report these feelings for fear of an angry mob sent to follow me for the rest of my days. But, here it is, Adele’s album, “25”, the first album in four years, isn’t as striking as “21”.
But before you sharpen the pitchforks and release the hounds on me, hear me out a bit.
Think about “21”, and how each song made you feel. “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” and “Rumour Has It,” each song had a different vibe, feel, and tempo to them and that trend carried on throughout the album. With “25”, by the time we get to the later part of the album, songs become predictable and well, less thrilling.
Nonetheless, it still hits hard how so much of the album is about heartache of some sort, whether she is on the receiving end or the giving
We expect there to be heartache. There are Adele memes and jokes about just how much we expect to be slitting our proverbial wrists by the end of her songs. Nonetheless, it still hits hard how so much of the album is about heartache of some sort, whether she is on the receiving end or the giving. I only say this because she had told Rolling Stone that she couldn’t make another album completely about heartbreak. “I don’t think the record has a vibe of ‘Whoo-hoo, I’m totally happy!'” she told Rolling Stone. “But with me being in a brighter space with my love life, will my fans be disappointed in me that I can’t fix their broken hearts with a song that is brokenhearted? … But at the same time, I can’t write a sad record, like, for everyone else. That’s not a real record, unless I am sad.”
So perhaps it isn’t exactly her fault, maybe she was just giving the people what they wanted. As long as there are people, there will be broken hearts and those who just need to feel it to deal with it. Songs like “Love in The Dark,” “When We Were Young,” and “All I Ask,” are needed. But I think what she told us back in her Rolling Stone interview was if she’s not sad, it’s not true.
It’s the predictability that makes the songs feel average.
Her voice is just a beautiful. No one can knock her vocal talents. It’s the predictability that makes the songs feel average. Her vocals are present, but maybe the shattered pieces of her heart aren’t so much.
As someone who used “21” as a lifeline during a breakup, I can understand being in a different space after time and having those desperate feelings of despair fade as if they were a childhood dream that no longer applies. But what do you do when the people want more despair?
Give the people what they want.