By Jeff Girod
2011 was the year of Adele: The British singer achieved this year’s top-selling single, top-selling album, and was named Artist of the Year by iTunes, Rolling Stone and Billboard. Adele also earned six Grammy nominations, sold more than 20 million albums and somehow broke the NFL’s single-season passing record.
Surprisingly, next year will be just as Adele-less. So will 2013 and quite possibly 2014, because Adele is recovering from throat surgery. Adele has already stated she’s in no hurry to get back and is “looking forward to some time to do nothing.”
So what will coffee houses, aerobics classes and soccer carpools do without the soundtrack of the addictively soulful yet equally nonthreatening Adele? Four words: Soft-Pop Super Group.
The most irresistible band of all time would be an Easy-Listening Super Friends featuring Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty, that handsome chap from the Goo Goo Dolls, Sting, Vanessa Carlton and Kenny Chesney. (Imagine the Traveling Wilburys minus the liver spots, but with more Birkenstocks and Kabala bracelets.)
Are these the most talented, introspective musicians? No, of course not. But they are the most embarrassing artists on my iPod. And I’m shocked at how many of their unforgettably listenable ballads I actually own.
As for the Super Group, what they’d sing would be about missing a guy or a girl, and somethingsomething about it being late or early, and it snowing or raining and the occasionally lonely sunset or hopeful rainbow.
And Kenny Chesney would always be on a boat, and Vanessa Carlton would be at a windowsill, and Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson would mumble things that are completely unintelligible. And there would be something about wishing your friend would step back from a ledge, or how’s it going to feel when you don’t know someone anymore—followed by spoken word by Baz Luhrmann.
And I don’t even know what Ryan Adams sings but I hear his name frequently at the gym and inside elevators and at the dentist’s office—though admittedly I’m always momentarily excited that it’s Bryan Adams and the song about to be played is “Summer of ’69.” Then I remind myself, why I do even like that song? I was born in 1973. In the summer of ’69, I was negative 4 years old. If we “had a band and tried real hard,” as Bryan Adams sings, my contributions as a negative-4-year-old would have been minimal. Then again, whenever I hear Ryan Adams, or Bryan for that matter, I find myself humming along, so both performers should be sent formal invitations to join The Super Group.
As for the Johnson/Mayer/Matthews/Martin/Thomas/Goo/Sting/Carlton/ Chesney/Adams/Adams collaboration: It would be unstoppable. It would replace that Sarah McLachlan song on the SPCA “doggie jail” commercials. Lakers forward Ron Artest (who changed his name to Metta World Peace) would change his name to all the lyrics of their songs. The back of his Lakers jersey would be the width of the Staples Center. Teenagers who have never even seen Say Anything would scour Craigslist and eBay for vintage 1980s boom boxes and C batteries, and then spend weeks holding said boom boxes over their heads, blasting Super Group songs, and standing outside of actress Ione Skye’s house. (By now, she must be 50.)
The Super Group’s super songs would systematically short-circuit our way of life. People would stop working. Sports leagues would stop competing. The U.S. government would stop legislating. (OK, everything would be exactly the same, except Extra would be a half-hour longer and for some inexplicable reason, TV host Mario Lopez would get blonde highlights.)
And then a few years later, after our ears had adapted, support groups had been established and Bono had won a Nobel Prize, Michael Bublé would release his own version of each super song which we, as a collective planet, would universally despise, then make it our sole mission in life to hunt Michael Bublé’s whereabouts like a lounge lizard bin Laden.
Even if Michael Bublé doesn’t release a “tribute” of the super songs, I strongly urge the military—any military—to hunt his whereabouts. And then Adele can come back in 2014 as if her throat surgery never happened.
But seriously, kill Michael Bublé.
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.