You guys know who Stephin Merritt is, right? He’s the main singer in the Magnetic Fields, a band that I absolutely love. This is him, ok?
Seriously, the Magnetic Fields is one of my very favorite bands ever. I’m sure that’s a very hipster thing to say, but I came across “Book of Love” while listening to an Indie Weddings mix a few years ago, which probably says a whole lot more about me than I’d like, and I’ve loved them ever since. 69 Love Songs is an amazing, wonderful, magical album, and please give it a listen if you’re into that sort of thing. I can understand where a lot of people would not be into that sort of thing.
But why am I telling you guys about Stephin Merritt at all? Am I just rambling pointless about something I love to try to convert you? No, I usually reserve that kind of behavior for the weekends, but thanks for noticing. Actually, I’m telling you guys about Stephin Merritt because Stephin Merritt just made a few remarks about Adele, and as you know, we don’t need any excuse at all to talk about Adele.
Here’s what he had to say during an interview with L.A. Weekly:
I like Adele, though I have some reservations about why people like her. She really has a lovely voice, but I only get suspicious when people get excited about British people who sound like American black people. Basically she sounds like Anita Baker. And people are not, you know, wild and crazy about Anita Baker. And I think about the whole, with the racism, when people love when British people sound like American black people.
And there it is.
I know I talked up Stephin here quite a bit, but of course I disagree with him. Adele is popular because she’s an amazing singer with a charming personality who happened to write a beautiful album. That’s why people are so excited about her, not because they’re a bunch of racists who finally get to hear a nice white lady sing with some soul. And I’m pretty positive that people who love Adele aren’t forbidden to also enjoy black artists.
Also, I’d wager that people aren’t as wild and crazy about Anita Baker because the last album she released was a Christmas album back in 2005. That probably has a little something to do with it.
But hey, maybe I’m being crazy here. Maybe Stephin Merritt totally has a point with the racism thing, and I just can’t see it because I love Adele too much. Somehow, I don’t really think that’s it though.
What do you guys think on this one?