Top 10 Adele Songs
There is a certain difficulty in compiling a top 10 list of Adele songs. While she only has two albums to her name, ’19’ and ’21,’ all of her songs are, at worst, excellent.
The British-born chanteuse hit the scene with ‘Hometown Glory’ in 2008. Since then, fans and critics have witnessed her already mature songwriting grow along with her, something notable in an era when many of her contemporaries are trapped in the commercially viable Fountain of Youth. With talent like Adele’s, it’s unnecessary to appeal to bubblegum demos, because she manages to appeal to everyone.
Aside from her record-shattering sales, Adele has a number of artistic accolades that are otherwise unheard of. Including her 2012 Grammy sweep and 2013 Golden Globe and Oscar wins, Adele has earned 178 award nominations and taken home 90 trophies over the course of her short but illustrious career, and none of her victories were even debated.
Why? Because Adele songs combine a vulnerable sadness, a strong shell and powerhouse pipes to sing about heartache, love, loss and everything in between in a way that’s simultaneously awe-inspiring and relatable. And she makes it look easy, because, for her, it is.
‘Don’t You Remember’
One of many breakup ballads on ’21,’ you can hear the sadness in Adele’s voice on ‘Don’t You Remember.’ It’s a shame that such a moving song was written for a guy who apparently ghosted on her, because that’s the very type of jerk who doesn’t deserve someone’s attention. However, if these idiots keep inspiring songs like these, we’re almost willing to enable their bad behavior.
‘Set Fire to the Rain’
The Adele song ‘Set Fire to Rain’ allows the songstress to stay in her element while simultaneously exploring the elements. It’s a scorching, tear-drenched tale of soured love. The melody, crescendos and decrescendos of the ’21’ track represent the roller coaster highs and lows of a relationship just as well as Adele’s lyrics and delivery do.
Most of us can’t even finish a crossword in 10 minutes, but Adele wrote her first single from ’19,’ ‘Hometown Glory,’ in 10 minutes. Let that sink in for a moment… She was inspired to write the song after her mother discussed moving out of the south London ‘hood in which she was born and raised. And guess what? Those 10 minutes of fiery songwriting earned Adele worldwide fame and her very first Grammy nomination.
The haunting and symphonic Adele song ‘Skyfall’ was not only a Bond theme, which is an honor in and of itself, but it’s also regarded as one of the best Bond songs ever, garnering comparisons to Shirley Bassey’s classics ‘Moonraker,’ ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever.’ And, uh, it won an Oscar. That pretty much tells you all you need to know.
‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’
Adele’s live cover of Bonnie Raitt’s lovelorn ballad became an instant classic after she performed it at the 2011 iTunes Festival. Although it’s not technically an Adele song, per se, her delivery is flawless. It’s summed up perfectly by a lone screaming guy in the crowd: “I love you, Adele!” Seriously, after listening to this, how could you not love Ms. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins?
There’s a reason that ‘Chasing Pavements’ is Adele’s breakthrough song stateside: Despite its beautiful, lush production, the song still showcases her powerhouse pipes and expresses a common sentiment: the fear of telling someone how you feel, because maybe you feel a little too much.
‘Rumour Has It’
Before Adele got sad on ’21,’ she started out seething (‘Rolling in the Deep’), and on ‘Rumour Has It,’ she gets sassy as h-e-double-hockey-sticks. She scoffs at a lover who spurned her for a newer model — and hints that she knows he’ll be back. The tempo, the harmonies and the Ryan Tedder production made this Adele song an instant earworm … and the lyrics likely inspired a lot of snaps.
‘Rolling in the Deep’
Adele is mostly known for her sad songs, but ‘Rolling in the Deep’ is a different stage of grief over a dead relationship: It’s seething with rollicking anger, and it suits her. There’s something extra biting about her soulful pipes and hint of her British accent when she sneers, “Go ahead and sell me out / And I’ll lay your s— bare.” Whoever dumped her probably feels like an idiot, but when he heard this track, he probably also felt pretty scared of her wrath. Good.
‘Make You Feel My Love’
Covering a Bob Dylan song is a tall order, but Adele made it look easy. She not only delivers major justice to the classic, but also makes it completely her own. There’s a reason Adele’s rendition is played so often at weddings: It’s heartfelt, moving and, quite simply, beautiful.
‘Someone Like You’
‘Someone Like You’ is on its way to becoming a signature Adele song, if it hasn’t been deemed that already. It’s simultaneously heartbroken and defiant, incredibly sad while maintaining a facade of emotional strength. She’s vulnerable and shows it, despite trying desperately not to, and she does so with one profound word in the chorus: “Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you.” And then, of course, there’s that voice, but that goes without saying at this point.