Our Top 10 Adele songs takes a look at the songs of a fabulous blue-eyed soul and pop singer/songwriter from London, England. Adele was born Adele Laurie Blue Atkins on May 5, 1988. She is known for her deep and smoky voice. She is also known for writing songs about her relationships. She started writing songs when she was a teenager. She was 16 when she wrote her first song. She recorded demos in school and gave them to a friend. Her friend posted the demos on social media. Someone from XL Recordings called her. She didn’t believe that the offer was real because she never heard of the label. In 2006, she signed with XL Recordings.
Adele released her debut album 19 in 2008. She named it 19 because that was her age at the time. She wrote the majority of the album. The album received positive reviews from the critics. The critics enjoyed her voice and her songwriting ability. They were impressed with what she accomplished at a young age. The album features the singles “Hometown Glory,” “Chasing Pavements,” “Cold Shoulder” and Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” “Chasing Pavements” was her first song on the Hot 100 list. The album debuted at number one on the U.K. charts. It peaked at number four on the U.S. charts. The album stayed on the charts for nine weeks. She received a lot of awards for this album. The album sold over three million copies.
Adele found greater success with the release of her second album 21. It came out in 2011. This album helped boost sales for her debut album as well. For 21, she worked with Ryan Tedder, Rick Rubin, Fraser T. Smith as well as others. She named this album after her age. This album was inspired by folk, Motown, country and blues music. She ended a relationship while recording this album. Her relationship was the inspiration for the songs on this album. The album was number one on the charts in different countries. It was the best-selling album in 2011 and 2012. In the U.S., the album topped the charts for 24 weeks. This is the longest time an album was at the top of the charts by a female. The album features the singles “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” “Rumour Has It” and “Turning Tables.” She won numerous awards for this album. The album sold over 10 million copies.
In 2012, she released the single “Skyfall” for the James Bond movie Skyfall. The single sold over seven million copies. The song reached number one in 11 countries. The song peaked at number eight in the U.S. She won various awards and nominations for the single. This is the first Bond single to receive an Oscar nomination since 1981. It was also the first one to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. She performed the song at the Oscars.
Adele’s winning streak continued with her third album 25. She released this album in 2015. This is another album that was named for how old she was at the time. She referred to this album as a make up album. Her previous album was a break up album while this one was about making up for lost time. She wanted to get to know herself. This will be her last album named after one of her ages. This album has an 80’s r&b sound. It received positive reviews. It was a massive commercial hit. The album debuted at number one in 30 countries. It sold 3.38 million copies in its first week. It is the largest single week sales for an album since 1991. This is one of the best-selling albums of all time. This album features the singles ‘Hello,” “When We Were Young,” “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and “Water Under the Bridge.” The album sold over 10 million copies.
Adele doesn’t have the typical look of other divas in the music business. She smashed stereotypes and made it possible to be a singer without looking like a supermodel. All of her albums managed to be successful. She proved that she could compete with her legendary peers. She has three of the best-selling albums of all time even though she hasn’t been in the music business that long. She has a lot of hit songs, which deserve to be on the Top 10 Adele Songs list. This list will be about some of her hit songs.
# 10 – Skyfall
The first song on our Top 10 Adele Songs list is the dark and soulful “Skyfall” from the Skyfall soundtrack. This haunting song has an orchestral pop sound to it. It is about the movie. Here is some trivia about this song. Adele didn’t feel she was right for the song because she writes songs from the heart. The director of the movie told her to write a song from the heart. She used Carly Simon’s song “Nobody Does It Better” as inspiration. The music sounds really dramatic and is the heart of the song. ‘It is a modern song with an old school feel to it. It doesn’t sound like a typical pop song. It could have easily been written in the 60’s or 70’s. She shows versatility because she relies on her deep and smoky range as well as her higher range. She also holds a note towards the end of the song. You can enjoy the song even if you haven’t seen the movie.
# 9 – Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
The next song on our Top 10 Adele Songs list is the angry “Send My Love (To Your New Lover) from the upbeat album 25. This somber song has a pop and r&b sound. This happy-you’re-gone song is about her being okay with her former boyfriend moving on with another woman. This is her putting her middle finger up to her former boyfriend. Despite the theme, the music is bouncy and upbeat. It has a poppy and rhythmic sound. Songwriter Max Martin co-wrote the song so it’s not a surprise that it has a danceable beat. It’s not like Martin’s other pop songs, but it will get you moving. This is a different style for Adele, but it works. She was able to maintain her smoky voice with his modern beat. She is a little hard to understand in some of the lyrics so you might want to get the lyrics ready.
# 8 – Chasing Pavements
This break up song is the second single from the enjoyable 19. The enraged song has a pop, soul and blues sound. The heartfelt song is about an argument she had with her boyfriend. He didn’t chase after her when she walked away. The music is melancholy and appropriate for the lyrics. She wears her heart on her sleeve as she pours her heart out in the lyrics. She sounds so emotional that you can hear the pain in her voice. She wrote this song two days after the argument she had with her boyfriend. You can tell the pain is fresh. Her vocals were full throated and smoky. She is a teenager here, but her voice sounds older than her years.
# 7 – Someone Like You
This bitter song is from the break up inspired album 21. This incensed song has a pop sound. This song is about someone breaking up with her. This is about rage and heartbreak. She was scared that she would still be looking for him years later. The title is a little misleading. If you go by the title and some of the lyrics, you would think that it was a love song. The somber chords of the piano are stripped down giving the song a raw sound. The piano was all the music needed for this heartfelt and enchanting ballad. You can hear the pain in her voice when she talks about wishing her boyfriend the best. Her vocals rise and fall throughout the song. She does have one minor clinker when her voices breaks, but it adds to the rawness of her voice.
# 6 – Rumour Has It
This antagonizing song is from the anthemic 21 album. This drama-filled song has a blues, pop and jazz sound. This soul strutter is a ballad with tempo. This song is about her friends believing rumors about her. The music is hypnotic and has a bluesy pop-thumping beat. It also mixes rock music with the addition of the guitar. The music will get you on the dance floor and shake your booty. The passion in her voice didn’t have to be about heartbreak. This time is about the betrayal of her friends. She uses the same passion as if she were singing about an ex doing her wrong. Her smoky vocals are present in the track. She doesn’t hold any notes or belt in the song, but she does manage to keep up with the volume of the instrumentation.
# 5 – All I Ask
This sentimental love song is from the pop inspired 25 album. This soulful ballad has a pop sound. Here is some trivia about the song. Co-writer Bruno Mars wanted this song to be an up-tempo song, but Adele didn’t want to sing a fast song. They disagreed over the lyrics. She won the argument because the song is a ballad. This was a good decision because the song sounds nice as a ballad. It might not have sounded right as an up-tempo song. This weeper is about her spending one more night with her lover before they break up. The music transitions from soft to soaring. It is a showstopper. It gives her vocals a chance to shine. She is pouring out the pain in her heart with tender emotion. Her vocals are strong and tight. She belts towards the end without missing a beat. She sounds like a vocal beast and can compete with fellow power balladeers.
# 4 – Hello
The next song on our Top 10 Adele Songs list is the epic ballad “Hello” from the uber successful 25 album. This poignant song has a soulful sound. This piano-driven ballad is about regret. It is a follow up to “Someone Like You.” This is a simple song with simple instrumentation. It is just Adele and the piano. They are like a great marriage. Her big voice is allowed to shine without being overpowered by the music. The way she sings the song is as if she’s blending an old school sound with a new school sound. She sings the song with sincerity and urgency as if she wants you to feel her pain. You can get lost listening to her soar in the chorus. She doesn’t hold any long notes, but they weren’t necessary in order for the song to work.
# 3 – Set Fire to the Rain
This compassionate song is the third single from electrifying 21 album. This head bopper has a pop sound and a midtempo rhythm. The guitar gives the song a hint of a rock beat. This song is about her breaking up with her boyfriend and letting him go. It sounds similar to Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.” The lustful instrumentation and string arrangements are incredible. It has an orchestral swell that turns pain into art. It’s refreshing to hear a female her age sing a song like this. Her vocals are gorgeous and soulful. She lets loose vocally towards the end of the song. She turns it into a big ballad. She attempts to hold notes at the end of the song, which sounds pure and beautiful.
# 2 – Remedy
This touching song is from the hugely popular 25 album. This gripping ballad has an adult contemporary sound. This song is about her transition into adulthood. This emotionally raw song is also about her son. The piano chords are mesmerizing. She mixes an old school sound with a modern sound. She is looking for a connection with her vocals and she found it. They are strong and heart wrenching. She stretches her vocals into big belted notes over a jazzy piano. The luster of her tone in this track is enjoyable. The fact that the song is about motherhood makes the song sound more heartfelt. This song should have been released as a single, but it managed to get on the charts. The label must have been crazy not to release this song as a single because it is flawless.
# 1 – Rolling in the Deep
The number one song on our Top 10 Adele Songs list is the untouchable “Rolling in the Deep” from the anger-filled 21 album. This has a bluesy and gospel sound. This anger-inspired song is about getting revenge on her former lover. The pounding piano keys and thumping drumbeats make the music stand out. The beat is easy to listen to and will make you want to move around in your seat. Adele’s vocals showcase her stunning bluesy style voice. She has so much anger in her voice and it’s perfect for the theme. She belts from beginning to end, which sells the song. You can tell this is a song that is close to her heart. She may as well have said the lover’s name in the song. She is giving a vocal middle finger to her ex-boyfriend. This revenge song is the best way to end this list.
Feature Photo at top of page – Photo: CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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