Monday, July 2, 2012

Will Mom-to-Be Adele Be a Total Bore Now That She's Happy?

Children are a blessing. In the world of pop, though, it can be such a mixed one. A new mother's pride and joy could turn out to be not so much of one for fans. The demands of motherhood might mean not only less frequent albums but songs without the cutting edge inspired by singledom -- or more specifically, being single and not exactly loving it.

Let's face it: Creative types are generally more interesting when they're miserable. There's nothing like a wonderful work of art that rises from the depths of despair, a singer who's bringing on the heartbreak. That goes double for Adele, whose Grammy-winning, multi-platinum 21, the biggest album of the last two years, was largely inspired, according to legend, by a particularly brutal break up.

One can assume that her current relationship, with Simon Konecki, is going considerably better. On June 29, Adele announced on her blog that she's pregnant with her first child. Congratulations and all to her, but what will this mean for her music? Now that she's happy -- and one would presume that she is -- will she be able to pull another "Rolling in the Deep" or "Someone Like You" from her imagination, or her memory of the way things were?

Or can she still create interesting, compelling music from the heights of happiness? It's not like it hasn't been done before. Lauryn Hill was already a mother when she released her landmark 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which included a standout track, "To Zion," dedicated to her son.

That same year, Madonna released what is considered by many to be her '90s creative zenith, Ray of Light, after the birth of her daughter Lourdes (the subject of the track "Little Star"). And she was pregnant with son Rocco when she filmed the video for "Music," a song that was edgy as hell when it was released in 2000, and also her only No. 1 single of this millennium.

So there's hope that Adele's creativity will continue to soar even after her life becomes all about bringing up baby. We'll wait and see. In the meantime, here are 5 great songs inspired by parenthood that prove mommies can rock, too.

"No Charge" Melba Montgomery Sure it's manipulative -- mom uses her unconditional love to one-up her son -- but it still brings a tear to my eye every single time I listen to it.

"My Love Is Your Love" Whitney Houston Lauryn Hill's former Fugees partner Wyclef Jean co-wrote and co-produced one of Houston's best singles, an ode to parental love, romantic love, or both, which, fittingly, featured the cooing of a little kid (Bobbi Kristina?).

"Babyfather" Sade Baby daddies need love, and can give good love, too, Sade declares on this deservedly Grammy-nominated single. 

"Nowhere Near" Tracey Thorn Motherhood begets a gorgeous contemplation on the dark side of having it all.

"Baby Baby" Amy Grant Gospel singer Amy Grant went from gospel star to pop star with, of all things, a love song inspired by her baby. Go ahead and laugh at my sappy, questionable taste in pop, but why can't motherhood spawn guilty pleasures, too?

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