Sunday, March 19, 2017

Adele plus Ed minus Amy

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and Amy Winehouse were both born in the 1980s in North London. Amy was a fine jazz singer who wrote her own original songs with personality and passion. She gave us two albums then tragically died aged 27. Adele grew up being influenced by Amy Winehouse, as well as The Spice Girls, and writes and sings banal crap which sells by the truckload.

In my local Co-op and Sainsbury's the only two CDs I can buy are Adelle's 25 and Ed Sheeran's new album, ÷ (Divide). Never has there been a more apt title, with the album breaking chart records around the world whilst receiving terrible critical reviews – two out of five in the Guardian, and a 2.8 (out of 10) from Pitchfork. Neither album is actually music. Positioned next to the till, they are the equivalent of sweets and chocolate, to be grabbed in a moment of weakness and hopefully eventual regret.

In the Guardian's review of Adele's 25, released in December last year, though gaining one more star than ÷, the reviewer is lamentful at the lack of interest in critical opinion – as is the reviewer of ÷ (both perhaps worried about the point of their jobs); like with Fifty Shades of Grey (book and film), huge commercial success for both Adele and Ed is a foregone conclusion despite completely mediocre material.

The unimaginative mathematical album titles of Ed (+, x, ÷) and Adele (19, 21, 25) is no accident. 19 + 21 x 25 = a lot of $$$. Indeed, it's a formula. This is music by numbers; slick, sentimental songs written for Radio 1 and 2 (Sheenan himself admits as much in the Guardian review); likewise with Adele's 25. Both albums are anti-music. The death of music.

19, 21, 25... you have the feeling that, say, 30, 45 and 67 are going to sound exactly the same. And Ed's going to produce his mathematical symbols to ∞ (that's infinity).

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