The Adele distraction.
When I got out of bed this morning the world was quite literally my oyster. Sadly I don’t really like oysters. I’ve never had one but they do look repulsive, so I’m basing this on untested opinion. I did that for a few days as I thought about Sam Smith’s new Bond song, the one he claims took him 20 minutes to write. I have problems with songwriters, or any artist, saying these kinds of things. For a start it’s very arrogant, he knows it is, and it’s also a faintly disguised arrogance made to look like a throwaway comment. Like Jamie Oliver lying through his teeth whenever he says the words ‘15 minute meal’. Or like Joseph Fritzl tossing one hand in the air and shrugging ‘oh it was nothing, I just grabbed a few bits from Homebase and it probably didn’t take much more than a couple of weekends. Do you like the candles?’. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing Sam Smith to Joseph Fritzl in any way whatsoever, it’s just the first thing that came to mind, which is more worrying for people close to me than anyone else, especially you.
Another problem with these ‘I did it in 20 minute’ style comments is that you’re really in hot water if it turns out the thing you did in 20 minutes is really pretty shit which, in the case of ‘Writings On The Wall’, is the case (a grammatically bad sentence I know, but it only took 24 seconds to conceive and write). As my ‘the wife’ so cleverly pointed out it sounds like a duet, in this instance apparently shared between Sam Smith and someone singing in the shower whilst having their nipples electrocuted. It doesn’t matter one bit whether it fits the Bond franchise, or about Sam Smith’s sexuality, or his astonishing success founded on a song (Stay With Me) so dreary, wrong gospel, pedestrian and self-pitying it makes me want to cry with boredom, laugh with derision and bungee jump head first into a lion’s mouth at the same time. What really matters is whether it’s a good song, full-stop. That’s where the analysis should end. It is not a good song. It’s probably about 23% good song and the rest is waffle, but then history has shown us that an awful lot of people will pay money for waffles.
Returning to the point, the world was my oyster this morning. I could have done anything. Gone anywhere. Achieved all my life goals simultaneously. So here I am, just back from dropping the car off for a service, a dark wash spinning away in the background, a well-trodden Frasier paused on the telly and a bowl that only recently contained Coco Pops beside me on the sofa, gently reminding me I must brush my teeth. If this isn’t living life to the full then I don’t know what is. The reason I’m writing is because I looked at the BBC website as I began to have my oyster and not eat it and I saw some insane figure referring to the number of people who have watched Adele’s new song and video on Youtube. Have YOU seen it? I have now and the figure has gone up to 85 million plus (not purely because of me). That’s 85 million plus people on the planet who have gone onto Youtube to watch the new thing by Adele. I don’t know what the second coming will be like but it will have to be pretty spectacular to beat that.
Rather than crudely and innacurrately dissect the song and video I should give the title of this piece a proper context. The distraction element is there because I was meant to be finishing off Berlin Part 2 or whatever it was called. The second element is based on a vague recall of some press piece a couple of years ago where Adele mentioned that the hub of her world-consuming second album was about a break-up and that she wasn’t going to be dealing with that kind of morose crap again. Then I watched the video. And heard the song. And, well, I maybe a bit thick but isn’t it precisely about breaking up and being miserable and all the usual stuff Adele said was all over. I don’t have vast amounts of cash like Adele does and I can’t do the hand gestures, and my next piece of art isn’t being pored over by everyone in the world but I did expect her next song to be a touch more upbeat,. Maybe about farting, or eating Coco Pops on a day off, or taking 20 minutes to have a shit. A good shit, that makes you feel better about yourself in general, the poisons drained, strength restored. I do like her and she is a strange kind of sexy and her song is relatively better than Sam Smith’s Bond song, certainly proportionally so. She makes better tunes so it sounds more, well…..just nicer on the ear. The video however is shamefully bad, especially given the expense it no doubt involved, but a good video never made a good song, so let’s dismiss that. Music is for ears first, and eyes third.
I will await the album and listen and learn and consider (like a lilly) and as if a full bellied anaconda decide whether to regurgitate or digest. No one will care what I think so who cares anyway. You just can’t put a popular-with-the-kids, modern song down. Shame they’re not family pets with rabies.
G. B. Hewitt. 27.10.2015
Ps you can put me down too if you want.
Edited by me. Sooooooo many mistakes, sorry.