It's probably weird to start this list with a cover, but hear us out: Adele has very, very few happy songs. Most of her repertoire deals with heartbreak, so when she belts out a positive one, we listen. This take on the bluegrass band the SteelDrivers appears on limited editions of 21 and has morphed into a relatively upbeat Adele track. If she sings it, she owns it.
"Right As Rain" appears on Adele's first album, the incredible and oft-ignored 19, and while it might seem like another bummer tune, but there's definitely something under the surface. "Who wants to be right as rain / It's better when something is wrong / You get excitement in your bones / And everything you do's a game / When night comes and you're on your own / You can say 'I chose to be alone'/ Who wants to be right as rain / It's harder when you're on top." Here, Adele is celebrating knowledge and experience. Everything happens for a reason, right?
In most cases, we'd argue no one should cover Aretha Franklin. However, Adele has the pipes to deliver. Her rendition of "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" will make you want to hold your significant other close, but also take on the world. What's better than that?
This is probably about the one that got away finding another, but if you take that element out of it, it's a sweet depiction of young love: "Daydreamer / Sitting on the sea / Soaking up the sun / He is a real lover / And making up the past / Feeling up his girl / Like he's never felt a figure before / A jaw dropper / Looks good when he walks / Is the subject of their talk / He would be hard to chase / But good to catch / And he could change the world." And he could!
The most rousing track on 21 is "I'll Be Waiting," technically a breakup song but one that finds Adele hoping that the flame can be rekindled ("But now the sky has cleared and it's blue/And I see my future in you"). Combine the vibrant instrumentation with the only song in which the singer puts her "hands up," and you've got... wait for it... a happy Adele song!