19. 21. 25. 30. Do these numbers have a particular resonance to you? It’s not a throwback to elementary school math equations, a locker combination, or the winning PowerBall numbers (we wish!) Any guesses yet? HELLO?! Hopefully, that jogged your memory — these numbers are all Adele album titles, with each number referring to her age at the time she wrote the songs included therein. The titling is a pretty clever way to document her life in song, and despite claiming that 25 was the end to the number trilogy, we’re kind of pleased that she’s sticking to the winning album titling plan with the release of her sure to be spectacular 4th album, 30. From just the first single “Easy on Me,” it’s clear that Adele’s next album is going to be emotional, and we couldn’t help but reminisce on our very best Adele cries over the years.
In honor of upcoming 30, we’ve compiled the top 9 very best Adele songs to cry to. Listen, we’d love to compile a list of The Most Zingy Zappy Joyous Dance Party Adele Songs, but that’s not where she lives. Adele not only dominates the This Song Will Make You Weep market, she rules it. You can expect to see “Someone Like You,” “Hello,” and more below because — let’s face it — nobody hits us as deeply in our feelings as Adele does. Get that box of ultrasoft tissues ready, because here we go.
When news broke that Adele would be contributing a song to the esteemed catalog of James Bond theme songs, it was all but guaranteed to be a smash hit. And what a smash it was. This orchestral pop ballad won every award you can think of (Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe, and Critic’s Choice) and gave her an eternal connection to Daniel Craig’s 007, which is worth any amount of tears.
8. “All I Ask”
This song, co-written with Bruno Mars, is one that Adele supposedly thinks is her most show-offy but honestly, listening to that voice soar to those heights makes all the tears worth it.
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It’s this lyric from the first verse, “Every story has its scars,” that opens the floodgates for us. But we bet you didn’t realize that this isn’t another song about a broken heart, nope, it’s a promise to her then three-year-old son, Angelo, that despite the challenges he’s sure to face in his life, she will always be there to patch him back up and be his remedy.
6. “Make You Feel My Love”
It’s no easy task to make a cherished song written by one of the world’s most highly regarded songwriters your own, especially one that’s already been covered by another legend, but this list is about the inherent magic of Adele, and if there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that we’ll follow her voice wherever it leads us. Her cover of “To Make You Feel My Love” is gorgeous and somehow evokes even more tears than both Bob Dylan’s original and an earlier cover by Billy Joel.
5. “Sweetest Devotion”
Love Songs About Your Kid(s) are a seriously underrated genre and we’re so grateful to Adele for adding to that canon with this gentle, tender, perfectly mushy song written for her son, Angelo Adkins.
4. “When We Were Young”
This, my friends, is what is known as a power ballad. While not technically a sad song, it’s still a right old tear-jerker, and that’s the beauty of what makes Adele, Adele. The sentimentality of it takes our breath away. And as she revealed in “73 Questions with…” for Vogue, it’s one of her favorites to perform live.
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3. “Easy On Me”
The first single from her new album smashed every record when it was released last month, and it’s easy to see why. “Easy On Me” paints our protagonist in a new light. Adele has said that it was written as an explanation to her son, Angelo, about why she ended her marriage to his dad. Why did she do it? Because she was “was still a child/Didn’t get the chance to/Feel the world around me.” Most of us make choices in our younger days that we regret or question when we’re older, and Adele taps into that great internal conflict – who to put first. What makes the plea of this song so heart-wrenching is her acknowledgment that the very personal choice she’s made directly affects another who is so dear to her. Adele has worn many crowns and we are thrilled to see her rock her latest, as a champion of putting yourself first.
What an album opener. Really. To assert that it’s perfection is kind of an obvious understatement, yet here we are saying it is. With over 1 billion streams on Spotify, we’re pretty sure that even the original Hello-er, Lionel Richie, is a superfan. A song that everyone thinks is about a woman reaching out to an ex is actually a song about a woman (let’s call her Adele) reaching out to herself and the world after taking some time off to be present with her son.
1. “Someone Like You”
If ever there was a song meant to be sung with tears streaming down your face as you fully embrace the ugliest of ugly cries, this one is it. Hopeful heartbreak at its very best. That’s what this song is. And that’s (part of) the magic that makes Adele so extraordinary. Pairing two deeply contrasting emotions as one. The sorrow along with the dream of loving again.
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