Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Adele’s Make You Feel My Love is the perfect love song

Adele’s Make You Feel My Love revealed as the World’s perfect love song

Spotify has worked with Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience to uncover a formula for writing the perfect love song
Sentimental lyrics + slow tempo + syncopated rhythm + major key + standard chord progression = perfect love song

Getting your music right on Valentine’s Day could lead to a night of passion or be a total passion killer. And with 14th February just around the corner, Spotify, the music streaming service, today reveals Adele’s cover of the Bob Dylan classic Make You Feel My Love as the perfect love song.

The research reveals that penning a perfect love song comes down this tried and tested formula: Sentimental lyrics + slow tempo + syncopated rhythm + major key + standard chord progression = perfect love song. The feeling of familiarity is also something which will keep us wanting to listen to the song again and again.

Spotify worked in partnership with Jacob Jolij, assistant Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Groningen and Maureen Crowe, President of the Music Supervisors Guild. Crowe, who helped create the Spotify Perfect Love Songs playlist based on the formula, has supervised on films including The Bodyguard, which is famed for its number one smash hit I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. Other tracks also featured in the playlist are Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers and At Last by Etta James

Professor Jolij says: “Make you feel my love", you clearly hear the syncopated rhythm in the melody - it's (approximately) ONE - and - two - and - THREE - and - four - AND - ONE - and - two - and - THREE - and - four - AND - ONE - and etc. You see that there are two accents close together, repeating every bar. This creates the feel of a relaxed heartbeat, a sound we are very familiar with, as that is what we heard during our period in the womb. Some researchers believe this is the reason why these rhythms have a soothing and relaxing quality.’’

Jolij continues: “Lyrics about love should be positive and the song needs to have a slow tempo (andante, or about 70-80 beats per minute). It is also important for the song to have a syncopated rhythm like Adele’s track. A major key is also vital as we associate it with positive emotions and standard chord progression is important for your brain to process the song without too much trouble.”

Spotify also carried out analytic research that shows men prefer to listen to male voices and women are the biggest listeners of love songs, with the research showing women resonate more with the higher octaves of a female voice than the lower tones of a man’s. Adele is known for her distinctive, soulful voice which is why her version of Make You Feel My Love has all the elements of the perfect love song.

Angela Watts, VP of Global Communications at Spotify, adds: “Music has the power to stir up all manner of emotions in us, and it inevitably becomes the soundtrack to our relationship status. We often associate songs with key moments in relationships, whether sad or happy, single or looking for love. There’s no doubt that Spotify’s list of perfect love songs will help get you in the mood this Valentine’s Day.”

Crowe adds: “The best songs come from heartbreak. Anytime an artist goes through hard times the A&R staff are thinking: big songs are coming. There are countless examples. When we are the most vulnerable, sacred insight comes. A song like that resonates. The song becomes a treasure, an expression of a deeply personal emotional experience that everyone can share and brings us all closer”.

Jolij comments: “The songs that have made our playlist have a fairly simple structure: they are some of the most popular songs of all time that follow our simple formula of sentimental lyrics + slow tempo + syncopated rhythm + major key + standard chord progression = perfect love song. They do not have a very complex harmonic structure, and the chord sequences are all 'easy on the ears'.

“Take for example Unchained Love - it opens with the so-called Fifties-progression (I - V - vi - IV, or C - G - am - F in the key of C) which is used by about a million other songs. It immediately creates a feeling of familiarity. And familiarity is good - even though you might think that people prefer originality, we know from psychology and neuroscience that the brain likes familiar stuff.”

Spotify's Perfect Love Songs

1. Make You Feel My Love - Adele
2. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
3. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton / Whitney Houston
4. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
5. Love Me Tender - Elvis
6. Let Her Go - Passenger
7. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
8. She – Elvis Costello
9. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
10. Think Twice – Celine Dion
11. Vision of Love – Mariah Carey
12. Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis
13. If You Don’t Know Me By Now – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
14. Un-break My Heart – Toni Braxton

Spotify's Perfect Love Songs – embed code


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news