Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Last week, Laine in Hong Kong sent me a text message mentioning what a cool track CHASING PAVEMENTS is. You see, we've both been updating each other on great music finds--especially the more current and contemporary kind as our iPods are filled with so much dated (and age-revealing) music.
The totally clueless me asked her what CHASING PAVEMENTS was, and Laine then pointed out that it was a song by MySpace wonder, ADELE (Adele Laurie Blue Adkins). I promised to research on the artist and the music; but literally moments later, much to my surprise as I turned on my TV, here was ADELE performing CHASING PAVEMENTS on ELLEN. What are the chances?
I was mesmerized. This Brit has a deep and raspy tone, emotionally-charged and cracking at the most vulnerable moments of the piece. And the song? An stirring melody with a most engaging hook, one of those you can hum after just one listening.
CHASING PAVEMENTS is set at the crossroads where the persona asks herself if it is wiser to stop in her tracks or continue her pursuit even if it leads nowhere. The song is said to be based on an event in ADELE's life, a troubling break-up with her beau that found her running down an empty street.
Since her early career, ADELE has been writing music that reflects her most intimate experiences. In late 2004, one such song was posted on MySpace by her friend; the popularity of the demo earned a record deal for the then 16-year old. With last year's successful UK release of her album, 19, the artist then began her attempt to reach an American audience. The efforts seemed futile until in October 2008 when ADELE was slated to guest on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (SNL), on the same episode when SARAH PALIN made her appearance. The show, which garnered SNL's highest viewership since 1994, drew much attention to singer-songwriter. The next day, 19 topped the iTunes charts and ranked #5 on Amazon.com.
Last December 4, ADELE, 19, and CHASING PAVEMENTS received 4 Grammy Award nominations: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Vocal Performance, and Best New Artist. 19 has been released in the U.K. under the XL Recordings label, and in the U.S. through Columbia Records.
Here's a music video of ADELE and CHASING PAVEMENTS.