‘Water Under the Bridge’ is one of the best songs on Adele’s 2015 album 25, which is a fine album start to finish. A fine album, but not a remarkable one, which makes its record-shattering commercial performance even more astounding.
These days it’s rare for an album to sell a million copies. Selling 2 million is a pipe dream. Over the past three years, only Taylor Swift (Reputation) and Ed Sheeran (÷) have reached the 2 million threshold.
That’s 2 million copies, total.
Women have faced an uphill battle in this first round of Montauk Madness, going up against the likes of Frnak Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, David Byrne, Elvis Costello and Ben Folds Five. Here’s another example, as the talented and mega-successful Adele faces off against one of our greatest songwriters, Randy Newman.
I feel bad for Adele, who I like both as an artist and a personality, but this is an easy call for me. Newman is a unique and special talent who deserves to go far in this contest.
Rounding out Billboard’s top ten this week is ‘Send My Love (To Your New Lover),’ the latest single from Adele’s smash hit 25.
Though Adele destroyed every album sales record with the release of 25, it doesn’t seem like that record has permeated the culture. Compare it to Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which sold far fewer copies but dominated the conversation for months.
Best Songs of 2015 – #9
‘When We Were Young’ – Adele
Nobody thought NSYNC’s record of 2.4 million albums sold in a week would ever fall. Not so much because NSYNC is some pinnacle of creative success but because the music industry has changed so much that a million-copy sales week is now unheard of. Two million? More? That’s fantasy land.
It was theoretically possible that Adele’s appeal had faded in the four years since her smash hit 21 dominated the pop culture scene. Sure, ‘Skyfall’ was an Oscar-winning success but we live in an era of short attention spans.
And doesn’t the music world belong to Taylor Swift now?
But those doubts have been shattered, along with a number of records, by the release of ‘Hello,’ the first single from Adele’s upcoming album 25.
As hard as it is to believe, we’re just a couple of months away from the end of the first half of this decade.
What are these, the tens? The teens? Did we ever even decide on the best way to describe the last decade? I could never get on board with “the aughts.”
I don’t anticipate any earth-shattering record releases the rest of this year, so this is as good a time as any to look back on the past five and write about my favorite albums of the decade so far.
The Random iTunes Fairy has served up another track from Adele’s debut album, 19, apparently still derisive (or appreciative) of my dismissal of it a few weeks back.
This track is better than the last one I featured, though still fall short of the material on 21. The production is fuller and Adele, as always, is in fine voice. But the tune itself falls a little short.