It’s been a year and a half since Adele’s album 21 was released, but it feels like just yesterday when I heard “Set Fire to the Rain” for the very first time. Even now, practically everyone has a song or two of hers lingering somewhere in their iPods. These songs speak so succinctly and perfectly to people’s emotions, about their lives and respective relationships that parting with them is not easy. So much so, 21 is now approaching its 10 million mark of number of albums sold worldwide and is continuing to sell more than brand new albums of established artists.
The reason why 21 worked was because it was so deeply personal, yet so abstract. Adele bravely took out her bleeding heart and showed it to the world. In response, the world sang with her, cried with her and bled with her until they could bleed no more. Her songs vibrated from every corner of the world, until the entire world was found “Rolling in the Deep”.
ABC News recently dug up the album’s main inspiration – the man behind 21, a musician named Slinky Winfield who left Adele for a Burberry model named Morwenna Lytton Cobbold. I can’t help but feel terrible for the guy; imagine cheating on someone, horribly dumping them and finding out the next day that they are as successful as Madonna, or as rich as Oprah. I may be exaggerating but from the looks of it, it won’t be long before she is.
Now with Adele’s biggest heartbreak behind her, a baby on its way and a man who loves her ridiculously, is her freakish success also a thing of the past? As Adele was at her very best: heartbroken. Although I wouldn’t wish the same pain on her again, I’m wondering whether a happy Adele would be able to climb her way on to the charts with a new album, and continue to do so after a year?
Creativity and pain do seem to be best pals, let’s see how Adele fares without it!
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.