So, last night I stayed up alone until just about 2am watching various live streams of the 2012 Adele Awards. Excuse me? What was that? Oh, those were the Grammy’s?!
Flying the flag for England, our Adele managed to win a grand total of six Grammys out of six nominations. Now, she’s a talented women I’ll give her that; she’s brought soul to the masses in the same way that the late Amy Winehouse brought beehives and jazz. As a lyricist I’ve got a ton of respect for the way she’s written so sensitively about the break-up of her relationship, and the way in which through that she’s pulled the heartstrings of so many millions of people across the world.
I’ve got a bone to pick about Album of the Year. As always, nominated for the coveted award were musical A-Listers, such as The Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga, plus a couple of odd choices like that funny little Bruno Mars and then Rihanna (yeah, I don’t know either). The winner of said award was Adele, for her album 21.
Listen to me right, she’s got some brilliant singles, but after those 3 songs, the rest of the album is a bit of a bore. Every track is about the same break-up she’s singing about in Someone Like You, and if you manage to get through the whole thing all you feel like doing afterwards is eating 5 pints of Ben & Jerry’s and jumping off a bridge. This is where Adele irks me as a songwriter – she couldn’t simply write a beautiful song and be done with it, she had to tarnish her talent by repeating the same method for the rest of the songs on 21. It doesn’t show the skill an Album of the Year should.
It was sad that the awards ceremony was overshadowed by the hype the USA had piled on Adele’s shoulders. Even she looked overwhelmed and nervous during her acceptance speeches. On the red carpet the only performer the guests were talking about was Adele, and also she’d been tipped to win all her nominations by every magazine online or off. Considering her humble beginnings, I was shocked to say the least about how for that night, she’d turned from national treasure to America’s darling. Where were they after she’d first released 19?
Compare 21 to the album I was routing for, which was Born This Way by Lady Gaga. In a year, from one album, Gaga has released 5 singles, 5 videos, had a Thanksgiving special, headlined in New York City on New Year’s eve, been around the entire world promoting at least twice, opened her own charity foundation inspiring youth bravery, while at the same time wearing heels higher than the Empire State building and keeping her flawless image intact.
If that wasn’t enough, the themes in Born This Way range from self-acceptance to relationships, and throughout the album Gaga preaches a positive message of love and unity. Like 21, there are unhappy themes, coming from dark caverns of Gaga/Stefani’s psyche, but instead of dwelling on her mistakes she moves on, triumphant, into the future. Sonically, Born This Way could be described perfectly as “Avant-guard techno rock”, however there are even country influences, electro pop, plus vintage 80’s references unusually suited yet mixed into the tracks too. This album feels more than an acoustic set and a melodramatic attitude, and instead is a fist-pumping, heart throbbing anthem for modern youth society. It’s a defining moment for pop culture, tied into 17 tracks of pure musical genius.
As a fan and a Little Monster, I can’t help but to feel cheated by America’s obsession with Adele and the farce which was the 2012 Grammy ceremony. I didn’t think for such a prestigious award the judges could have been so blinded by hype and popularity, yet I was wrong.