Adele’s “30” album is not going to sound all that different than her “25” album when it comes to us next month.
Indeed, the snippet of her first track, “Easy on Me,” with just a few piano chords, sounds very reminiscent of her big hit, “Hello,” the opening track from “25.”
That’s because it’s written by Greg Kurstin, who’s got a signature sound. He’s been one of Adele’s go-to songwriters for her later records.
Kurstin is one of several songwriters returning for the “30” album. The words may be different, and the arrangements. Adele’s vocals will be swell, no doubt. But the overall sound of “30” will be in keeping with “25.” You don’t change what ain’t broke.
Adele says in Vogue she also has songs by Tobias Jesso Jr., Max Martin and Shellback. No doubt also included in some way will be Paul Epworth, the author of “Rolling in the Deep” and “Skyfall,” and Ryan Tedder. All of them made up the success of “25.”
The big question will be if anyone else made it onto the record. A few years ago Adele is said to have recorded several Diane Warren songs, but so far none of them have surfaced. There’s also a world of potential covers for her to try. It’s been eons since she tried something like Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
But the key to Adele’s financial success now is publishing more than anything else. Like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, Adele has learned that she must have her name on a songwriting credit so that she can reap the rewards from the material.
Singers who sang other people’s songs — huge chunks of pop stars from the 60s and 70s especially — learned the hard way that they don’t get any royalties from airplay. Only the writers do. That’s why legislation is always pending for Performers Rights Royalties, something radio stations don’t want to pay.