HOT OR NOT?We 'the people' influence careers

Jan 16 2012 - 10:30am



At any given time Americans are given the opportunity to make something "popular." The American adage is to say that we as "the people" can make or break something or someone's career.

Take, for example, ShamWow. The short but absolutely popular career of this artificial product-picker-upper only lasted until its abilities were proved otherwise -- false. This magic piece of cloth could not really hold irrational amounts of liquids and really couldn't even pick up much of anything.

Now let's bring modern musicians into this picture. Currently riding No. 1 at the billboard charts for many consecutive weeks is solo artist Adele. Adele is a different story if we are talking about modern musicians, as you will soon see. Her rise to fame came mostly with her second CD release titled "21," and her popular songs "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You."

Now I hate to be "that guy" or the "hipster" that always puts down what people like, but in this case I think my opinion is mostly correct. Adele has an extremely beautiful voice that she tends to use on one subject, a broken heart.

Now, yes, I imagine that her producers or songwriters told her this subject would make her rise to the top of the charts in no time, but Adele seemed to follow suit and even exceed expectations. See, here is the catch; every teenage girl that I've talked to is absolutely in love with Adele's songs and lyrics, for the reason that they're something they can relate to.

Now this is where the producers were wrong but yet somehow right, as I imagine teenagers are more likely to illegally download music from an Internet source.

Somehow Adele is garnering attention and millions of dollars. Her album "21," as previously mentioned, sold an enormous amount for first-week sales in February with 350,000 copies. For the next 11 weeks it stayed as the top-selling CD, and even in late September when the highly anticipated new Blink 182 CD came out, Adele's "21" still outsold it. To put this in perspective, as of June 2011, Adele's "21" has sold more than 2.5 million copies which is certified multi platinum. The numbers have not since been crunched, but in a modern music industry where records aren't selling, this is absolutely phenomenal.

Adele might be another one of those artists who come and go, unlike Katy Perry who proved after "I Kissed A Girl" that she could come back with an even stronger album.

"Teenage Dream" -- barring a HUGE letdown with the song "The One That Got Away" -- will likely land six No. 1 singles, a feat that not even The Beatles could attain.

The band I'll mention to prove my point about this failing modern music industry is that of infamous All Time Low.

Since letting producer Matt Squire basically write their last two albums entitled "Nothing Personal" and "Dirty Work," the band has accumulated radio play and created a massive uproar in playing sold-out shows across the world. Before Squire got a hold of All Time Low, they released two fairly popular CDs, but apparently the fame they had wasn't good enough for them. All Time Low tagged with Hot Chelle Rae as another band whose CDs are entirely written in a studio, with the producer, to make money.

The groups have garnered attention worldwide, noting another reason why people in the modern music industry shouldn't ever do anything for themselves.

Bringing Adele back into this, she recently said in an interview that she plans on recording most of her next album by herself with more of an acoustic guitar and piano-based tone. This could be the make or break point in her career, going back to the oldest saying in the book, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Now obviously I'm not a big Hollywood hot shot, but If I could give advice to Adele -- or any other aspiring musicians who want to make tons of money and not work hard to "make it big" -- let the guys who know what they are actually doing write your album. Only because they know what and what not to do to sell albums in the failing music industry we have here in the United States of America.

Robert Stewart is a senior at Fremont High School. He likes singing, rap, writing lyrics and playing guitar. Contact him at

See Adele perform "Rolling in the Deep"

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