There's no question that Adele is the reigning queen of pop music, and she's frequently hailed for her "authenticity"—much as Kurt Cobain was two decades ago. But that "early ‘90s fetishization of authenticity" led to a bunch of "dour, humorless copycats" who only brought us "wave after wave of angst-soaked grunge and grunge-lite," writes Mike Doherty in Salon. (See: Puddle of Mudd, Staind, Creed, Nickelback, etc.) Adele's popularity could inspire the same trend, Doherty worries.
Despite the fact that Adele's genre of music has been dubbed The New Boring in her native England, many others are following suit; consider that even dance-pop stars like Katy Perry have delivered their own earnest covers of Adele's "Someone Like You." "Authenticity is as much a pose as it is a state of being, but we’re conditioned to value it nonetheless," Doherty writes. The problem is, sometimes "authenticity" tends not to allow irony or humor. Adele certainly seems to be ushering in "a new era where displays of 'authenticity' will be de rigueur," Doherty writes. "Let’s just hope it doesn’t do away with fun." Click for the full column.