Is Self-Pity an Art form?

Julie Burchill’s dig at Adele in today’s Independent has infuriated me – ’Self-Pity is an art form now.’

It is common knowledge that songs with deep meaning tend  to sell better as they are written from experience and not just thrown together. After seeing Adele on countless TV shows, I can inform Miss Burchill that I have never seen Adele drone on about her past. She expresses it in her music and allows the listener to relate- what a good piece of music should do.I have personally felt close to tears with a few of her songs. She is taking swipes at Britain’s very own Grammy winner who has done us proud. The argument shouldn’t be about self-pity being an art form but some of the material acts like Rihanna produce being acceptable.  Would you rather let your child listen to a song about heartbreak and moving on or whips and chains exciting them.
I do agree, however, with some of her introductory paragraph. ‘Someone Like You’ is one of the most overplayed songs and still sits in the charts today. Someone will always be humming or singing it and the repetition does get annoying. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad song, Burchill. If we took away every popular song that was based on some form of sadness, what would be left? Presumably something by JLS or Kesha. Good music has to have a backbone and it has to have a story behind it. I’m sorry to say Burchill but for a long time now Self-pity has been an art form.


3 Responses

  1. your right! I read this too and think that Adele is one of the most down to earth British musicians we have today. Her music is obviously a hit and as you say has “touched many”. Julie Burchill must be the only person I have heard of who does not like Adele and her music. She can relate to most young women from the age of 17 onwards, telling us the secrets of past relationships through her heart felt lyrics, which are extremely emotive and moving.

  2. You’ll have to tell Alan Boughey that one. Another attempt by Burchill to take a dig at the young, inspirational and talented.

  3. This annoys me greatly to be honest. As much as I personally don’t like Adele’s music it seems culturally ignorant of Burchill to make such a comment. The blues for example, which serves as the foundation for most modern rock music; was and always has been a form of music in which the artist expresses sadness or “self pity” as she has lazilly described. What I think she meant to suggest was that Adele has nothing to express through her music beyond a failed relationship. Alanis Morisette received similar criticisms during the height of her own popularity, Eminem also has been ridiculed for his constant reference to his strained relationships with his ex-wife and mother in his music. Ultimately, it comes down to people being targets due to their own fame.

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