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Every Adele Song, Ranked

Pour some wine, grab a box of tissues and call your therapist before digging into our ranking of every officially released Adele song

Over just four albums, Adele has built the type of airtight canon other artists spend decades trying to achieve. She launched her career as a heartbroken teenager with 19 and is now in her thirties, digging deep into motherhood, love, regret and, of course, more heartbreak. She has written more modern pop standards than anyone else in her generation, each single becoming an instant classic.

It’s no easy feat choosing what makes for the best Adele song — there’s not a single dud in the bunch. This list includes every officially released song that she’s released as the lead artist, from her four albums and a few live records. We included a number of officially released covers she has done, as well as bonus tracks and rarities (though many are still not on streaming, dedicated fans have uploaded them to YouTube for everyone to enjoy). Only two songs are missing from the list (for now): 30 bonus tracks that are still best (and exclusively) heard on physical deluxe editions of the album.

For now, pour some wine, grab a box of tissues, and call your therapist: Here’s our official ranking of Adele’s songs.

From Rolling Stone US

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“Rumour Has It”

Clobbering drums drive “Rumor Has It,” a story of backstabbing and betrayal where Adele sends scathing blasts at an ex and his new romantic interest. This is one of the most aggressive hits in the singer’s catalog, with a martial beat, gnashing guitars, and a series of hiccupping rasps in Adele’s voice that enhance the messiness she describes. No one comes off looking good — Adele and her ex are both “cold to the core,” the ex’s new lover is half his age and barely holding half his interest, and everyone is on the verge of leaving everyone else. But all’s fair in love and war: “Just ’cause I said it,” Adele sings, “don’t mean that I meant it.” —E.L.

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“Turning Tables”

The placement of “Turning Tables” in the opening three-song stretch of 21, just after “Rolling in the Deep” and “Rumour Has It,” feels something like Alice’s tumble through the rabbit hole into wonderland — except what awaits at the other end isn’t another grooving takedown. Instead, the song’s initially simple piano melody soars into a dramatic, orchestral performance of epic proportions. It’s a declaration of self-protection. When Adele writes her protagonist into a ghost roaming the graveyard of lost love under haunted skies, he’s no longer a problem she’s responsible for solving, especially not at the expense of herself: “I braved a hundred storms to leave you/As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down.” —L.P.