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Adele's Carpool Karaoke shows she’s much more fun than her music

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

There are two Adeles on planet Earth: one we'll call Sadele, the belter of aggressively uneventful music that your dentist and memaw both enjoy immensely; and Adele, the wickedly charming woman you want to sit next to at weddings.

They are markedly different. And on Wednesday night, on The Late Late Show with James Corden, we got to witness the strange dichotomy of Britain's top recording artist of the moment, thanks to Corden's now-famous "Carpool Karaoke" segment.

Carpool Karaoke is what it sounds like and so much more. Corden picks up a musician or a band and drives them around town (usually Los Angeles) while they both sing to that musician's songs. It's a fun premise, but Corden's most successful karaoke segments usually involve artists who need a little PR bump.

Consider, for example, Corden's karaoke stint with the boy king Justin Bieber:

Or his segment with Iggy Azalea:

Adele doesn't need an image boost the way Azalea needed one after being accused of cultural appropriation. But what she does need is to convince people she's more fun than the music she makes.

Hence, Adele talks to Corden about weaves and getting drunk on wine, sings Spice Girls tunes, and reveals she knows all the lyrics to Nicki Minaj's verse on "Monster." Sadele, meanwhile, is the artist responsible for an album that is essentially a Cathy comic set to lullaby music, an album that upon its release hauled in record-setting sales.

Unfortunately, back in 2008, pop culture decided that Sadele is the one people collectively love — just as people preferred the mopey "Chasing Pavements" to the more upbeat, ambitious songs on her first album 19 (RIP, "Right as Rain"). And so, since then, Sadele has churned out boring heartbreak song after heartbreak song, and many people have forgotten that Adele actually exists.

As James Corden reminded us, it's nice to see she's still in there.

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