Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙈𝙮 𝙏𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙚 - 𝙃𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙒𝙞𝙡𝙙
Charles speaks honestly about the overrated and the underrated.
It’s out! Finally, the wait is over! We have all been longing for this for 6 years. The brand new album by Adele: “30”!!!
Here is the tracklist:
Dated & Derivative
Bland pastiche, more embarrassment
Poor (wo)man’s early Winehouse
Well okay, it’s not the tracklist. But after one listening, this is what I felt about each track. It is excruciatingly long, as well. 5 of the tracks are 6 mins and 30 secs - for no reason whatsoever. I personally have not actually been longing for this album at all, but I could hardly ignore such a major release. Correction, I could very easily and happily have ignored it, but I thought I would share some thoughts. Particularly considering how well it has been received.
People these days seem simpler. Dumber, perhaps. And nicer! Take critics, for example. They used to love crushing an artist into the ground, whether they deserve it or not. And as fun as this may be - not that I get a lot of chance to do so - this should be fine, if justified and honest. But these days, it seems like when there is to be a huge release, the critics have pretty much written the review before having heard the record! It gets dull to be able to predict global reviews of new albums. Another masterpiece for the heap. Another genius on the pile. Is ANYONE less than brilliant, these days?? I mentioned dumbness for a reason. Aside from the truly overrated voice of Adele - which at times on this album sounds like she has Covid (maybe she did!) - there is true heartache, feeling and passion. NO. THERE. IS. NOT! There is clever marketing to gullible people, in place of great music. Just because one opens up about one’s private life and mental health, does not automatically make it a stroke of genius. Neither does it somehow instantly render the music fabulous. When listening, it felt like I was reading a VERY simplified autobiography, with some drifty (or annoying) background music. Seemingly, the press and the general public has fallen for it, oh-so predictably. An artist can get personal. An artist SHOULD convey emotion. But this should only be to make or enhance the music, not to REPLACE the music. Throughout the entire hour, I yearned for a really great song. Sure, the first single is good. Maybe even very good. But surely gone are the days of quickly cobbling together an album and wrapping it around a single to cash-in on its success…? This was a common thing in the 60s, and the album was usually largely forgotten, while the single lives on. But in this case, there is no cobbling, CERTAINLY no quick, and all from (not-so) arguably the most successful music star in the world right now. This will have been meticulously put together by ‘Team Adele’ over quite a long period. Whenever this happens these days, I never feel resentment for the artist, but for the general public and the critics. They are the ones who fawn over the (at best) mediocre sound. No one has forced anyone to praise this irritating drivel. Is it their own mind? Is it the pressure of social media and the unwillingness to be different and to have an opinion of their own? And then there’s another thing. She moans about her trials and difficulties throughout the album - this in itself is okay. But when you think of just SO MANY other people in the world with similar problems or far worse, they are not cushioned by their millions of pounds and their millions of fans. I actually found it rather insulting. And not one critic has picked up on this point. So. Adele. New album. Public opinion: 5 out of 5. Genuine thoughts: 2 out of 5. Giving 1 for sound and 1 for effort. OVERRATED.
Having probably offended most of the world - nothing like a bit of contention to spice things up a bit - I will swiftly move on.
Let us speak now of another lady entirely. She is less famous than the aforementioned star. Not as big, so to speak. She goes by the name of Holly Wild. Less than 2 weeks ago she released a single called My Tribe. Holly is a great artist, and amazingly is NOT from Canada! I don’t know why so many of the artists I review are from Canada, but I digress. I am known for being a bit of a bastard in terms of my judgement and choice in picking who to write about. Many artists are pushing their music my way, in the hope of getting a bit of attention in my Corner. Let me put it this way: it’s not you, it’s me. But this Australian has surprised me and piqued my nose. Or something. Holly Wild is pure delight, with authenticity and style. Her pop is seemingly light on the surface, but as we leaf through the layers, we find depth and emotion. The subtlety in each section’s segue is refined, new and never overused. Her words fall so easily from her lips, that there is no question of it being anything but heartfelt. She is speaking from the heart, in song. Like a small but brave bird. This is my kind of voice. Understated yet clear and melodious. Then when power is needed, it is carefully eased in, as if a conductor’s hand is trying to make a helium balloon defy the laws of gravity - the balloon wins, but the conductor tames and controls the dynamics. There is an effortless quality in Holly’s voice that holds a brave smile with a sort of pensive air. Her discreet harmonies are like soft, warm bubbles, comforting her on every turn.
The song itself is simple enough. But it’s actually not. It holds the impression of being simple, but the key changes from section to section are really rather sumptuous and maybe not what one would expect. The flow is seamless however, so this could easily be overlooked. Holly’s lyrics are simply beautiful and genuine. She loves her absolute closest friends - her girls. Lovely melodies, pleasing production, impeccable mixing and overall it is extremely musical. What more could one want from a soft yet powerful pop song? Not a lot.
Why oh why are we going on and on and on about overrated stars for years and years and years, when there is so much talent hidden behind the foliage? I would assume because it is hidden. But I suspect it is more to do with this modern pressure of feeling the need to like certain things and not others. That, and the bother of sifting. Both Spotify and Apple Music offer the choice of more than 70,000,000 songs. Even I am not going to sift through that many. But nevertheless, this is where I come in. I sift, I find, and I show you my favourite discoveries from the New Artist Spotlight. I do this so you don’t have to (you should do though). But don’t take my word for it. Have your own opinion. Let me know what you think of Holly Wild! I doubt you’ll feel any differently - she’s the real deal. Public opinion: 5 out of 5. Genuine thoughts: 5 out of 5. UNDERRATED.
We will resume this conversation with Adele’s next release: “48”.
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