As I’ve been working tonight, I’ve been listening to three performers on YouTube – Stefani Germanotta, Justin Timberlake, and Adele – perform live acoustic versions of some of their songs. It makes me wonder why the music industry is in such disarray. The business would be far healthier if people like this were left alone to compose, perform, and release music from their own homes or studios. It just isn’t necessary to have huge productions when you’re talented; the smoke and mirrors are only required when you are trying to hide something.
A few years ago, a young songwriter named Stefani Germanotta performed at Ultraviolet Live, NYU’s annual talent show. You know her now as Lady Gaga. But this is what she looks, and sounds like, if she were to walk into your living room, sit down at your piano, and perform as a person rather than an act. She really is extraordinarily talented. Just as I prefer Elton John now to his on-stage antics of the 1970’s, I vastly prefer the “real” woman to the persona. She should release an acoustic album.
Then, you get to Another Song (All Over Again) but Justin Timberlake. He has come so far since the boy band days. The composition; the performance … the talent really is evident. It’s just great music.
Finally, you get to embodiment of raw talent herself, Adele. Acoustic. On a rooftop. No production values. And she still kicks every other singer across the stage with a song she penned herself. She is the real thing.