“To Be Loved” by Adele
It seems that as of late we’ve been coming across quite a few songs that on the surface may sound like standard pop but underneath are pretty deep. And perhaps Adele’s “To Be Loved” should be placed in that category also.
The lyrics, though clearly pointing to the singer’s desire “to be loved”, are also not only poetic but to some extent vague. This thus lends to the potential of varying interpretations. But what it all seems to lead to is the singer being the type of person who is predisposed towards guarding her heart and soul.
In other words, she’s wise enough to know that if you get deeply involved with the wrong type of lover or associate, the emotional consequences can be devastating. But at the same time, she concludes that she cannot live life without taking such risks. And in fact Adele has already done so already, i.e. ‘letting it be known that she tried’.
Song Inspired by Adele’s Divorce?
Now considering that the album this song is derived from was inspired by her recent divorce not even a year prior to this track was released, the logical implication would be that Adele is primarily speaking to that situation. For instance, ‘yeah, she took bad turns’, i.e. made questionable decisions, in terms of who she gave her trust to. But now ‘looking back, she doesn’t regret a thing’.
Or put differently, it can also be said that she is the type of individual who is ready to learn and grow even if it proves to be a painful process. She has chosen to prioritize these things over remaining safe and sheltered.
And in some cases, i.e. her relationship with the addressee, she is accordingly willing to sacrifice her own personal comfort and ethics even in the name of ‘being loved’.
So another way of looking at this tirade, if you will, is as Adele’s way of saying that she did in fact give her all to the aforementioned marriage. Like she really “tried”, but at the end of the day the implication is that her main goal, which was “to be loved” by the addressee, i.e. her ex, was not realized.
Going back to the singer’s conclusive disposition on the matter, it’s as if this song has sort of an indirect advisory tone also. And that message would be sort of along the lines – excuse the cliché – of it being better to have loved and lost than to not have experienced it at all, or something like that.
Or perhaps more empathetically, we can say that ultimately all of us want to be loved. And therefore, it is inevitable that one day we must give our heart to someone, which as implied throughout this piece is an intrinsically risky proposition.
Facts about “To Be Loved”
This track came out on 19 November 2021 as part of Adele’s fourth standard album, “30”. It was put out by Columbia Records alongside a label the songstress herself founded called Melted Stone Records.
Early reviews of the album have indicated that amongst the tracks on its main playlist, “To Be Loved” is the “vocal standout”. And accordingly, Adele did treat listeners to a live preview of the song, via her own social media account, a couple of days prior to its official release.
This is the penultimate song on the main 12-track playlist of “30”. The album “30” also contains her hit single “Easy on Me” (which also deals with her divorce challenges).
Adele wrote this piece with Tobias Jesso Jr., a musician from Canada. And Jesso Jr., whom Adele has been musically affiliated with for a few years now, also produced the track, though in that regard working alongside Shawn Everett.