Giles Hattersley, European Features Director
Not to be a ghastly contrarian, but I love it when Adele goes mid-tempo. My fave is the final single from 25. Her third album might be all about the ballads but the poppy, gospel-y, Wilson Phillips-y feel of “Water Under the Bridge” proves she can deliver all that signature wisdom and killer lines with the same emotional jolt while you’re toe-tapping in the car, or hosting cocktail hour. Her straightforward lyrics are boiled down to perfection. “Oh honey, if I’m not one for you / why have we been through what we have been through?” Simple, powerful, genius. Never gets skipped on the shuffle.Hayley Maitland, Weekend & Planning Editor
When I first moved to London at the end of 2015, I rented a flat in east London just off of Hackney Marshes. The year I lived there turned out to be a difficult one – Brexit, Trump, the general craziness of life in your twenties – but it also happened to coincide with Adele releasing 25. When I needed to escape the headlines, I would lose myself on the marshes playing “River Lea” – which has a strangely uplifting chorus for a heartbreaking track – on repeat until the sunset forced me to go home. Every time I hear it now I feel wildly nostalgic for that period of my life, as tumultuous as it was.
Alex Kessler, Junior Fashion Editor
“Chasing Pavements” takes me back to being an angsty teen and having my mind blown hearing Adele’s incredible voice for the first time. It reminds me of bittersweet, awkward days of unrequited love and sausage rolls after school. OG Adele is my favourite.https://www.youtube.com/embed/08DjMT-qR9g?enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vogue.co.ukTwiggy Jalloh, Beauty & Lifestyle Associate
Adele’s perfect voice, the soft piano, the emotive violins… Nothing compares to her performance of “Set Fire To The Rain” at the Royal Albert Hall – it’s every bit as beautiful live as it is recorded. The outro lyrics (“Let it burn…”), resound in my ears, a reminder to let go of anything that doesn’t fit in my future, to forget the past and move forward with courage. Naomi Smart, Shopping Director
Every time I hear the “Rolling in the Deep” Jamie XX remix, it reminds me of some of the most fun house parties, and sweaty dancing whenever someone dropped it.Jessica Diner, European Beauty & Lifestyle Director
Choosing a favourite Adele song is something of an impossibility because there are just so many: “Rolling in the Deep”, “Someone Like You”, “Make You Feel My Love”, “Hometown Glory”, “Water Under The Bridge”… But, if pressed, I would have to say “Hello”. Because it is the kind of song that gives you chills from the pure genius of it all. It’s not so much that the words of unrequited love resonate, it’s more that the tune, tempo and power of it make it the best song to sing along to whilst driving, volume on max. And somehow, despite my lack of musical ability, singing this song makes me feel like a diva destined for the big stage. That’s how you know it’s good.
Adele has been a solid companion through all my heartache, and features heavily towards the end of my heartbreak playlist. The songs on it tend to reflect my different emotional stages after a breakup: grief, anger and (eventually), empowerment. “Right As Rain” always raises my spirits. It’s a reminder that you’re better off alone than in a relationship that’s not working, and the grief you’ve had to overcome is what makes you feel alive. Plus, it’s bloody catchy and a great one to belt out in the shower.