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Adele’s fourth album. “30” there was only biggest release week of the year, a kind of big tent perhaps no longer attainable in the age of algorithmic sorting, an unsurprising reflection of the power still wielded by the British pop-soul torch singer who remains a multi-audience pop star.
Adele maintained this position by making music that often felt like she was moving away from the dominant trends. But “30” marks some changes, albeit slightly – the production of some songs feels like a conversation with contemporary R&B, and his personal life (his recent divorce and journey to motherhood) intersects with his songwriting, which has been screened more abstractly in the past. and depersonalized.
In this week’s Popcast, a conversation about Adele’s return, her gentle gestures of innovation, the intervention of tabloid reality in her timeless voice, and the productive intersection of a texturally rich voice and a texturally rich life. Also, a few words about his life and work Virgil Abloh.
Jon Pareles, chief pop music critic for The New York Times
Jillian Mapes, feature editor at Pitchfork
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