In addition to being a stunningly beautiful woman with a wicked set of pipes, Adele is also a brutally honest lyricist.
The best Adele love songs are diary-real and hit you right in the feels.
She opens up her chest and lets the contents of her heart spill out.
Many of the love songs on her best-selling albums 19, 21 and 25, are songs about relationships that haven’t worked out, but it’s not a romanticized version of the concept. She isn’t afraid to revel in the pain, to crystallize it in words and melodies, and to make it sound pretty.
But it’s not all heartbreak — Adele has some happy songs too, though they’re admittedly further and far between than her sad love songs. If you’re looking for something more upbeat, try “When We Were Young” or “My Same” (both good songs to send to someone you love, by the way!).
Her studio albums have won more than a few Grammy awards, and though her latest hit “Hello” was released all the way back in 2015, it’s held us over as we await her newest album and may (unofficially) be the best love song of all time.
To celebrate our love of Adele, we’ve assembled her best love songs.
1. “First Love”
“So little to say, but so much time
Despite my empty mouth
The words are in my mind
Please wear the face
The one where you smile
Because you lighten up my heart when I start to cry.”
This song appears on album 19. Of course, I send my boyfriend this song when I want him to feel my love. Music is one of the best ways to communicate how you are feeling for someone.
2. “Someone Like You”
“You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days.”
Adele wrote this song about her heartbreak. She wanted to keep the lyrics very personal so that they conveyed the emotions that come with heartbreak.
3. “Chasing Pavements”
“Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere?
Or would it be a waste?
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there?
Should I give up?
Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements?”
In 2008, Adele explained that she wrote this song about having her heart broken for the first time.
She said, “That song is about should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there’s nothing there? I was only with him for four months but when I signed my record deal I had to write an album, as I hardly had any songs, so I wrote about him.”
4. “If It Hadn’t Been For Love”
“Never woulda run through the blindin’ rain
Without one dollar to my name
If it hadn’t been, if it hadn’t been for love
Never woulda seen the trouble that I’m in
If it hadn’t been for love
Woulda been gone like a wayward wind
If it hadn’t been for love.”
This is the perfect song to send to someone you love when they are unsure of how much you love them. Adele’s cover of this song was released on her album 21 as a bonus track.
Fun fact, this cover was the only bonus track to be performed on tour.
“Hello from the other side
I must have called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore.”
This very powerful yet vulnerable song expresses the emotions she felt when she was still with her ex.
6. “Rolling in the Deep”
“The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all.”
“Rolling In the Deep” is the first single released from Adele’s album 21. She explained the lyrics as meaning, “It’s me saying, ‘get the f*** out of my house instead of me begging him to come back.”
7. “One and Only”
“I dare you to let me be your
Your one and only
Promise I’m worthy to hold in your arms
So come on and give me the chance
To prove that I’m the one who can
Walk that mile until the end starts.”
Adele commented about this song by saying, “That one’s just about someone I’ve known for years who I’ve always loved and I think he’s always loved me but we’re too scared to be with each other in case that’s it.”
8. “When We Were Young”
“Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song.”
Adele wrote this song about what it felt like being older, being at someone’s party, and the sadness of yearning for love.
9. “Set Fire to the Rain”
“My hands, they’re strong
But my knees were far too weak
To stand in your arms
Without falling to your feet.”
Adele wrote this slow dance song in the middle of the night when the lyrics came to her.
“It broke my heart when I wrote this record, so the fact that people are taking it to their hearts is like the best way to recover. ‘Cause I’m still not fully recovered. It’s going to take me 10 years to recover, I think, from the way I feel about my last relationship. It was the biggest deal in my entire life to date. He made me totally hungry,” she explained.
“He was older, he was successful in his own right, whereas my boyfriends before were my age and not really doing much. And he got me interested in film and literature and food and wine and traveling and politics and history, and those were things I was never, ever interested in. I was interested in going clubbing and getting drunk.”
10. “He Won’t Go”
“Reminded by things I find
Like notes and clothes you left behind
Wake me up, wake me up when all is done
I won’t rise until this battle’s won
My dignity’s become undone
But I won’t go
I can’t do it on my own
If this ain’t love, then what is?
I’m willing to take the risk.”
Adele said in an interview that “The first verse was about me and my ex but then became about two of my close friends who are a couple that became my lifeline when I came off tour. Two months after I met them, the boyfriend went into rehab for heroin addiction. I had no idea about his problem.”
11. “Sweetest Devotion”
“I wasn’t ready then, I’m ready now
I’m heading straight for you
You will only be eternally
The one that I belong to.”
This song is about Adele’s son Angelo. You can even hear his voice at the beginning and the end of the song.
12. “Make You Feel My Love”
“When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.”
This song is a Bob Dylan cover from his 1997 “Time Out Of Mind” album.
Adele explained why she chose to cover this song, saying, “I wrote 9 songs in a short space of time, all about this awful relationship I was in. I never quite got down what I was really feeling in those songs, though. Although I was trying to. It wasn’t that I was holding back or anything, but I just couldn’t get it down. I was bitterly upset and then my manager played me this Bob Dylan song ‘Make You Feel My Love.’ The lyrics are just amazing, and summed up exactly what I’d been trying to say in my songs. It’s about regretting not being with someone, and it’s beautiful. It’s weird that my favorite song on my album is a cover, but I couldn’t not put it on there.”
Amy Sciarretto is a writer who covers celebrity news, red carpet events and awards shows in real-time. Visit her Twitter for more information.