2011 in Review #2: Adele

Y'know, we're big enough to admit when we got it wrong and boy, did we get it wrong with Adele. No, let's clarify: we still don't care terribly for 21, the album that the listening public - both here and in the US - bought in their millions. You can, if you have five minutes to spare, re-acquaint yourself with January's review here while we tell you the story of our lives.

Done? OK. So, yeah, we misjudged the appetite for this stuff, that the nation was in need of a couple of new tunes to play at funerals and over the TV montages when something sad happens. It's the cycle of popular music and the mystery of same. Duffy's Endlessly, released a couple of months before 21, bombed so badly its author threatened to walk away from the industry. And yet, as these things go, it's alright, just as 21 is alright. And Joss Stone? Stone seems to live in some Twilight Zone of charity gigs and guest appearances that have no basis in a genuine demand among the public for her music. So it's not just about the general sound, Adele has something about her that transcends mere labels. Whatever it is, it's just not for us.

Still, the business is - rightly - enamoured with the Adele Factor, proof that the right product can shift significant units (a colleague has just passed me a piece of paper that says 21 is the first album ever to sell more than 3 million units in the UK in a calendar year). As a result, the TMF mailbox rattles daily to the sound of yet another sub-Adele; quasi-soulful solo artists who don't have a rat's chance of hell in doing much more than get a mention in our weekly singles round-up. This time last year it was all desperately clinging to the coattails of Mumford & Sons, this year it's all about desperately clinging to the memory of an ex- in a manner slightly reminiscent of Fatal Attraction. Allow us a little shiver.

Please be re-assured that come the new year, The Music Fix will continue its mission to to mis-read the public mood at every opportunity. We start with our Tips for 2012 - online very soon ...

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