The Adele Effect


It’s no secret that Adele’s new release is having a profound effect on avid music listeners.  And who can forget the hilariously funny SNL skit with an arguing family interrupted and unified by “Hello”, which puts them in a trance-like state.  But why have so many re-fallen in love with Adele?  What is this trance-like state all about?  What is the Adele Effect?

It’s the songwriting.   The lyrics and the music.  Her use of everyday language in her phrases combined with haunting melodic lines, octave and 5th jumps, make for more musical movement.  Emotional lyrics in her verses followed by powerful ‘sing along’ hooks in the chorus.  Music and lyrics are both strong here.  Piano/vocal interwoven with strings and Gospel-like background vocals. What dominates is the vocal line…

It’s the voice.  Singing is the main focus here, not movement on stage, or overpowering rhythms.  Is this the return to vocal music as a preference?  In light of recent worldly events, are we craving emotional expression with the voice as the focused instrument?

Adele isn’t afraid of using her chest voice, mix voice and head voice. Her vocal style doesn’t overpower the naturalness in her tone.  While there are many singers who can outsing her, she is opening the mind of the average listener to new possibilities in vocal range.  She is challenging the vocal limits set by many singer/songwriters by evolving her vocal approach, and some may argue she has a long ways to go.  But no singer is vocally perfect.

It’s her authenticity:  Adele is just her vulnerable self on stage, she refuses cosmetic contracts and sticks with music, songwriting and performing as her purpose.  She is very humble in her interviews and that makes her even more likeable.

While in this trance-like state, let’s not forget the plethora of female and male vocalists who are underexposed that can outsing Adele any day.  But if it’s Adele that can inspire listeners to a return to vocal music – and interrupt family arguments, then so be it.

Alida is a singer, songwriter and musician based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC Music, Alida is also a certified IVA singing teacher.