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I Can't Make You Love Me (song)

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"I Can't Make You Love Me"
ITunes Festival London 2011 (ADELE)
Song by Adele
from the album iTunes Festival: London 2011 and Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Released
July 13, 2011
Recorded
July 7, 2011
Genre
Soul
Length
3:34 (iTunes Festival: London 2011)
3:39 (Live at the Royal Albert Hall)
Label
XL Recordings
Writer(s)
Mike Reid, Allen Shamblin
iTunes Festival: London 2011 and Live at the Royal Albert Hall track listing
← Previous Next →
"Take It All" (iTunes Festival: London 2011)
"Chasing Pavements" (Live at the Royal Albert Hall)
"Rolling in the Deep" (iTunes Festival: London 2011)
"Make You Feel My Love" (Live at the Royal Albert Hall)

"I Can't Make You Love Me" is a 1991 popular song, written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin and recorded by Bonnie Raitt on her Luck of the Draw album from that year. In August 2000, Mojo magazine voted "I Can't Make You Love Me" #8 on its The 100 Greatest Songs Of All Time list. The song is ranked #331 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [1] The song was covered by Adele at the iTunes Festival London 2011 during her Adele Live tour. It was also featured on Adele's first DVD/CD live concert album, Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

BackgroundEdit

In an interview with People, Adele revealed that "I Can't Make You Love Me" helped her cope with the breakup that inspired 21. [2]

When performing the song at the iTunes Festival, Adele said it was one of her favorite songs and described it as "perfect in every way". She added that Bonnie Raitt has a "stunning voice" and went on to compliment the lyrics, calling them "mind-blowing". [3] Adele talked about the song more when she performed at the Royal Albert Hall, saying, "It blows me away" and further adding that she thought the song was "incredibly moving". Adele also commented on the emotions the song gives her, saying, "It makes me really, really happy and really, really devastated and depressed at the same time. It makes me think of my fondest and best times in my life, and it makes me think of the worst as well, and combined, probably is a recipe for disaster, but I do love this song. It's just fucking stunning." [4]

Live performancesEdit

The song was added to the setlist for the Adele Live tour in July of 2011 and was often performed in replacement of "Daydreamer", although the two songs appeared at different locations in the setlist.

Critical receptionEdit

While reviewing her iTunes Festival performance, David Smyth of London Evening Standard wrote that Adele sang the song "with raw expressiveness." Andrew Leahey of Allmusic wrote that the cover "made all the more tender by the rarely heard frailties in Adele’s voice." Donald Gibson of Seattle Pi wrote that "she breathes new life into Bonnie Raitt's 'I Can't Make You Love Me,' with similar intimacy and conviction."

While reviewing her Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVD, critics lauded Adele's rendition. Andy Gill of The Independent called it an "impassioned version," while Alex Young of Consequence of Sound named it "heartfelt and stunning." Kit O'Toole of Blogcritics praised her rendition, writing that it "retains its heart-wrenching, devastating mood thanks to Adele’s multi-layered voice. Hearing her perform this song, one would imagine her as an older woman who has survived lifelong heartaches instead of a 23-year-old." Maria Schurr of PopMatters lauded the covers (Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" and Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love") on the live album, naming them "the most successful" and writing that "both seem deeply heartfelt, like Adele understands, and is the only one who can make these words that are not hers ring true." Chris Willman of The Wrap called it "a classic of unrequited love that you’d have to swear she wrote if Bonnie Raitt hadn’t turned it into the ultimate female weepie back when Adele was 2." [5]

ChartsEdit

Despite not being released as a single, "I Can't Make You Love Me" debuted at number 53 on the UK Singles Chart week of 30 September 2012. It later peaked at number 37, on the following week, 6 October 2012, becoming her eighth top-forty song and first non-single top-forty hit.

Chart (2012) Peak

Position

UK Singles Chart 37
Ireland (IRMA) 78

LyricsEdit

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies

Just hold me close, don't patronize
Don't patronize me.
Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't

Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
Cause I can't make you love me if you don't.

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holdin me
Mornin will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight.

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't

Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
Cause I can't make you love me if you don't.

ReferencesEdit

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