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Adele releases first single ‘Hello’ – Mullins at his best on ‘My Stupid Heart’

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Robot engineer Hiroshi Ishiguro (left), US actress Bryerly Long (second right) and Japanese actor Nijiro Murakami (right) help android actress Geminoid F wave to the audience before the premiere of new movie ‘Sayonara’ directed by Japanese director Koji Fukada during the Tokyo International Film Festival on Oct 24. (AFP)
Robot engineer Hiroshi Ishiguro (left), US actress Bryerly Long (second right) and Japanese actor Nijiro Murakami (right) help android actress Geminoid F wave to the audience before the premiere of new movie ‘Sayonara’ directed by Japanese director Koji Fukada during the Tokyo International Film Festival on Oct 24. (AFP)

LONDON, Oct 24, (Agencies): British singer Adele on Friday released a melancholic ballad from her hotly-anticipated new album due out on November 20, breaking a four-year wait for millions of fans after her best-selling “21”. “Hello” is about a love story gone wrong and features the same powerful voice and emotion of her international blockbuster “Someone Like You”.

“I’m sorry for breaking your heart/ But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore,” the 27-year-old sings in the black-and-white video, filmed in the Quebec countryside around Montreal.

The album “25” is being released on Nov 20. The singer told fans in a letter posted on her social media accounts this week that she chose the title because her 25th birthday marked a turning point.

“My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record,” she said.


“I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did.” The new release will be Adele’s third album and follow a pattern as her previous works were entitled “19” and “21,” also after her ages. “21” — which featured “Someone Like You” and other hits including “Rolling in the Deep” — won the Grammy award for Album of the Year and spent two consecutive years as the top-selling album in the United States.

In Britain, “21” is comfortably the best-selling album of the 21st century so far. After the massive success, Adele said that she wanted a break to give some time to herself. While “Someone Like You” reflected on a break-up before her stardom, Adele in 2012 gave birth to a son with a new partner.

Adele said on Friday as she released the first single from the follow-up to her runaway hit album “21” that she had become frightened of its success but had now got over any feeling of needing to repeat it.

“It was phenomenal what happened with that but it is a phenomena so … I can’t really include it in any expectations of anything I do ever again,” the 27-year-old singer said in an interview on BBC Radio One.

“Getting into like the headspace to write a record I found really difficult,” she said.

“Obviously now I’m a parent and also having such a break off I kind of fell out of the habit of writing songs and stuff like that.

“But no, I didn’t feel pressure but also I feel like every album I’m ever going to write is always going to be following ‘21’ … No matter what this record does, my next record is going to be following ‘21’.”

Shawn Mullins, “My Stupid Heart” (Sugar Hill/Rounder)

Whether he’s singing at a festival, in a roadhouse or on a pool deck, well-traveled troubadour Shawn Mullins knows how to command an audience. Alas, past studio albums failed to capture the knowing warmth of his smoky baritone.

“My Stupid Heart” is different, and Mullins sounds terrific in a wide range of styles, summoning gospel fervor on “Ferguson,” leading a singalong on “Sunshine,” and settling into a sultry sway on “Go and Fall.”


The Georgia-based singer-songwriter follows his jazz muse down to low F on “Pre-Apocalyptic Blues,” a hilarious mix of survivalist paranoia and Dixieland feel-good that rings too true. Mostly the thrice-divorced Mullins contemplates love sweet and soured, wearing his heart on his album sleeve.

An excellent supporting cast includes Chuck Cannon, who helped compose six of the 10 songs, and stellar guitarist Tom Bukovac. Credit producer Lari White, who doubles as Cannon’s wife, for getting Mullins at his best on the record.

Borns, “Dopamine” (Interscope)

Anyone paying close attention to Borns’ blend of synth pop leading up to his debut studio album has expected good things. On “Dopamine,” Borns has delivered by all measures with a collection of masterfully mixed synth-fueled pop gems.

Vocals and clean songwriting are the key drivers here, with Garrett Borns’ voice setting a smooth tone throughout. He’s stellar on “Dug My Heart” and even better on “The Emotion,” a track where his voice oozes an effortless cool.

Borns is upbeat and funky on the title track, singing: “Baby, baby, baby, can you take away my pain?” Phredley Brown’s work on the Mellotron, a keyboard that incorporates the real-time use of magnetic audio tape for ethereal playback tones, is perfectly placed here, providing a nice accompaniment to Borns’ deft vocals.

Tommy English handles the programmed drumming duties artfully on “Dopamine,” providing the perfect foundation for Borns’ frequent guitar and occasional piano to rest upon. The tracks are evenly paced and weigh in as some of the most heartfelt electronic-based music in recent memory.

When Kenny Rogers announced that he was retiring from touring, the Oak Ridge Boys were saddened.

“I have always thought, if Kenny Rogers can still be doing it, we can still be doing it,” said Richard Sterban, the group’s bass singer. “After next year, Kenny won’t be doing it and there will be a void.”

Added Joe Bonsall, “I can’t imagine Kenny Rogers not being out there.” But don’t expect the four-part vocal group to follow Rogers’ lead anytime soon. They are as busy as they have ever been, traveling to Branson, Missouri, almost every weekend to perform at the theater named after them and getting ready to do a 31-city Christmas tour that kicks off around Thanksgiving.

On Sunday, Bonsall, Sterban, Duane Allen and William Lee Golden, who have all been performing together since 1973 as the Oak Ridge Boys, will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as one of the few gospel acts to successfully transition to secular music and become hit makers in multiple genres. Also being inducted this year: the late Jim Ed Brown; his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie Brown, and the late Grady Martin.

The band’s origins date back to the Oak Ridge Quartet formed in 1945 by gospel icon Wally Fowler. The name of the band and the members changed during the ‘50s and ‘60s, but by the early 1970s, the band’s current lineup started outgrowing the genre. They had four Grammys for gospel performances already, but signed to a new label in the hopes of reaching a wider audience.

“We were sort of the renegade gospel band,” Bonsall said. “We grew our hair longer. We didn’t dress alike. Our songs were cooler. We hired a band and had a rock n’ roll drummer. We drove people crazy in Southern gospel in those days.”

They were helped out by artists like Johnny Cash and Rogers, who invited them out to play arenas with him on his Full House tour with Dottie West in 1979. They started having country hits like, “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” ‘’I’ll Be True to You,” and then their biggest hit, “Elvira,” which took off in 1981. In the 1980s, they headlined arenas and amphitheaters and even Garth Brooks opened for them.

Bonsall, who recently put out a book called, “On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys,” said the key to their longevity is recognizing that no one individual is greater than the group.

“We are spokes in the wheel and the wheel turns,” Bonsall said. “Each individual spoke brings individual talents and ideas and different personalities to the table that makes this group go.”

And the wheel is still turning. “The best part about this is we are still going strong after all of these years and we do not plan on retiring,” Sterban said. “We are still having fun doing this and we love what we are doing. At least for the short term certainly, we plan to keep on singing.”