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Posts Tagged ‘Adele’

It’s been a quiet, cold weekend and I’ve been noticing that Ms Bean doesn’t like to leave my side.

My rescue dog is almost 14 and doesn’t see or hear very well anymore. Besides fireworks and the usual bombs demolition going off in the neighborhood, she will only react when I sneeze. For some reason, sneezing makes her get up slowly, and walk into another room. The Vet tells us she’s doing fine for her age, but going up the stairs is an effort and her daily walks are getting shorter – like the days.

Still, when I have a little “song and dance” party by myself, Bean will rally. We were watching the CBS Adele concert last night, and she was hopping along with me to the music. The only other time she hops is just before I set down her dinner.

I loved the interruptions of the Oprah interview with Adele throughout the concert at the Griffith. Watching the sunset over Hollywood, then switching to the green and white setting in Oprah’s California rose garden was magical. It felt intimate, just two divas catching up. I had some idea Adele had been married, but no idea she was now divorced with a son. Losing 100 pounds by training and lifting weights? Not really, pretty sure I just thought she looked great. Her album “30” is like every other album title – it’s her age when she wrote the songs.

“It was exhausting, trying to keep going with it. You know, the process, the process of a divorce, the process of being a single parent, the process of not seeing your child every single day wasn’t really a plan that I had when I became a mum. The process of arriving for yourself every single day, turning up for yourself every single day, and still running a business… I felt like not doing it anymore.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-59291000

We’ve all felt like this at times in our lives. You start to wonder about your purpose, you look around at your life and you wonder how in the heck you got here. This was not THE plan you had, like Adele not planning to disrupt her child’s life with a divorce. Because her father had been an abusive, absent alcoholic, her plan was to keep a nice, cozy nuclear family humming along. But that effort was killing the British Grammy winner, and she needed to break free.

Let’s take our American Songstress Nashville version of superstardom, Taylor Swift, who also released an album this week.

Tay Tay is 32, only one year younger than Adele. Of course, I still think of Swift as a twenty-something in cowgirl boots. The Love Bug is positively in love with her! Her trajectory from country starlet to pop sensation was rather bumpy. But I remember when the news hit, about losing all her master recordings to some private equity firm – they sold for 300 Million last November.

Having raised a musician who weathered the sea change at the same time in the music business, I could empathize with Swift’s loss. It wasn’t just the money, it was about control. It was about mastering your own life, like Adele who thought that a marriage would bring her happiness. Both singers write deeply personal, emotional lyrics. Only Swift was bullied and shortchanged not by a husband, but by Scooter Braun, a music tycoon who bought her previous label and sold the rights to her last six albums.

“Swift is a calculating business owner who already recorded two albums during the lockdown simply because it was fun and she didn’t have to spend two years in Lover album promotion cycle. Why wouldn’t Swift take time to re-record her material? Imagine a private equity firm not doing enough due diligence on one of the world’s most surveilled super stars to think Swift wouldn’t take advantage of the time inside to maintain her artistic integrity. The woman once wrote a song about Katy Perry poaching employees!

One hedge fund manager who was approached to buy the catalog told FT: “To extract maximum value from music assets you absolutely need, if not co-operation from the artist, you at least need them to not be actively angry.”

https://jezebel.com/imagine-thinking-taylor-swift-wouldnt-re-record-her-son-1848043235

The artist must not be actively angry so you can commodify them. But anger can be a very good thing. Taylor took time during the lockdown to produce RED (Taylor’s Version), and I may have to run out to Target to buy a CD, if there are any left! This album is breaking Spotify records, as Braun’s hedge fund is declining. Good on you girl.

Adele is an outlier. She signed a 90 Million Euro (130M dollars) deal with Sony/Columbia a few years back and she can write her own ticket. Almost seven years ago, she waited to release her “25” album on streaming services until as many CDs as possible could be sold. This time her album “30” was simultaneously released on vinyl, CD and streaming. Despite not owning her masters, Adele has skyrocketed to super stardom. She took a more traditional musical route, and transformed it into her own.

I still remember the first time the Bride played “Rolling in the Deep” for me. “We could have had it all.” Her voice is simply devastatingly beautiful. Adele appeals to almost every age, she is a more mature Taylor. We are all learning to “process” a new normal these days; as Grandma Ada would say, we are all in transition.

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