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Following a six year hiatus, Adele finally broken her silence with the release of a new single, “Easy On Me.” In typical Adele fashion, the song contained gut wrenchingly introspective lyrics and became an instant success, reaching over 24 million listens in 24 hours and gaining popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok. The looming excitement over Adele’s new album marks the perfect time to analyze why Adele has been such a successful singer and songwriter, and to offer recommendations to those who have never gotten into her music. 

While Adele made history for hit singles such as “Hello” and “Chasing Pavements,” her discography is full of less popular, yet incredible and emotionally impactful, songs. If you aren’t an avid Adele listener, here are a few tracks that are sure to convert you into a fan: 

Rumour Has it

A scandal charged song, “Rumour Has It” has the catchy, pounding beat, lyrical twists, and a dramatic finish that makes it a quick earworm. While it doesn’t belong on a “Good Songs to Sob to” playlist, it's catchy enough to keep you coming back to listen again and again. 

River Lea

In “River Lea,” Adele writes an emotional letter to her lover, apologizing for her past mistakes and explaining why their relationship worked out the way it did. By intertwining water related imagery and a haunting beat, “River Lea” imparts an emotional impact that both conveys her own anxieties and acts as a bittersweet goodbye. 

Million Years Ago

"Million Years Ago” may seem like a strange song title for a singer who was in her twenties at the time of its release, but the quiet ballad eerily conveys a potent feeling of nostalgia. The tune captures a feeling of sentimentality and homesickness that’s relatable to a wide audience, from college students who find themselves away from home for the first time to those who miss the freedom of their childhood life. 

Water Under the Bridge

One of Adele’s most fast paced songs, “Water Under the Bridge” tells the story of a couple’s stagnant relationship with a lively beat as a backdrop. While less emotional than some of her other songs, it tells a powerful story of moving on and letting go. 

Turning Tables

One of her classic piano ballads, “Turning Tables” details the emotional journey of a 21 year old who finally has learned how to say goodbye. While tragically describing an emotionally manipulative relationship, the song also possesses an undertone of hope, with Adele promising to be the one person who is there for herself in the future. 

So why listen to Adele?

The most glaringly obvious reason is her raw talent. While her emotional growth and proficiency as a singer has developed along with her albums, she has consistently released excellent content, starting with her debut album. 

Beyond her skill, one admirable aspect of Adele has always been her transparency as a person. She doesn’t invoke a heavily manufactured or fake persona that she wants to show to the public, and she doesn’t wish to appear perfect as a person. While personas are often fun and entertaining, people are drawn to her songwriting and performances because they feel genuine and relatable. As she’s grown and gone through hardship, she’s bared an emotional side of herself to her fans, once even crying onstage as her fans sang to her following deep-rooted relationship struggles with her husband of the time. 

While her personality isn’t gimmicky, her albums are unique in that they tend to explore new sounds and themes while staying consistent to the same overarching experience: following the growth and experiences of Adele as she has aged and grown into herself as her person (with each album title matching the age at which she recorded the album). Starting as a naïve and homesick teenager in her debut album “19,” fans are now anticipating an emotionally raw musical coverage of her experiences with divorce and heartache in her upcoming album “30.” 

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Liz DeProspo

Kenyon '25

Liz is a freshman at Kenyon College who is interested in studying both English and neuroscience. Her hobbies include writing, baking, and eating the products of the aforementioned baking.
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