Last week, little ol’ Adele, without the help of a meat outfit or quickie marriage/divorce, became the first double platinum selling artist on iTunes. Her second album, 21, has been downloaded over 2 million times in the year since its release. People just can’t get enough of her soulful voice; her six GRAMMY wins attest to how she has captivated audiences. And best of all, she is doing it without a chopped and torched Maybach getting in the way of her voice.
While there is no doubt that more engineered, controvercial artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Kanye West are big sellers, there seems to be a shift in the entertainment we’re craving. Adele’s success is just one sign that listeners are gravitating towards more authentic music. Artists like Burno Mars, The Civil Wars, and Bon Iver are seeing their album sales soar as they offer audiences less smoke and mirrors and more organic music. People are seeking out what’s real and genuine, even in spaces typically reserved for extravagance and outrageousness.
Even celebrity gossip is trending towards the quotidian (yes, I realize what I just said). Beyonce and Jay Z’s baby news set records on Twitter, as fans continue to fall in love with the ultimate power couple’s increasingly domestic relationship. Conversely, shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians are in the midst of a backlash. As the Kardashians clash with audiences’ taste for realness with their over-the-top, over-produced lifestyles, and Kim’s recent multimillion-dollar, 72-day wedding.
And it seems that this entire authenticity craving is spilling over into facets of life beyond entertainment. A friend recently told me about a window display at exclusive fashion department store Barneys New York: Carhartt clothing, a staple on construction sites across the nation, was the featured brand displayed in Barneys’s windows. New York-based men’s fashion designer Adam Kimmel partnered with Carhartt to bring a sense of rugged realness to menswear.
Even further up the lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous ladder, people are craving authenticity. Ferrari recently introduced a supercar for the entire family, the Ferrari FF, a hatch back with four-wheel drive. Now, if you’re in the right tax bracket (15%, apparently) you can cherish the most important things in life: Your family, at 200mph. Amazingly, Ferrari sold out of its first year production run before they hit the showrooms and waiting lists are growing for upcoming production runs.
Why do you think we are gravitating towards things we feel are more authentic? Is it just the new reality of the post-financial meltdown? How long do you think it will last? Let me know by commenting below.