Review: Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre theme)

For a while now, the new James Bond film Spectre has been advertising itself with trailers and multiple set photos released onto the internet. But also today the official theme song that will be playing over the opening title sequence (the standard of 007 movies) of the film. As a fan of the Bond series i feel like i should make some comment over the recent news about the new theme; this blog does say that i would talk about movies in the description.

I could talk about the meaning of Spectre itself, but there are already videos on Youtube and stuff over the internet explaining this, and their connection to the new Daniel Craig 007 series (Casino Royale,Quantum of Solace and Skyfall for those not in the know) So for the sake those not that far in the know about Bond; i’ll leave a link to Bandit Incorporated’s video on the topic.

 In the meantime i shall discuss my feelings to the new theme song released today. Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall…if you haven’t read the title of this post. For those who don’t know; Sam Smith is a British soul and pop singer; who first gained attention with the release of the song Latch in 2012 which he did along side with the band called Disclosure.  After that his gained major popularity with a solo carrier producing songs such as: Money One My Mind, Stay With Me; which in turn led him to win four awards at the 2015 Grammy music awards. So before we start, what do i feel about Sam Smith? His OK. Admittedly the man has talent and is a well skilled singer and pianist. But i just never really got into him; with some exceptions. I felt his’ mostly just stuck to emotional piano ballets for a large portion of his musical career; again his good at it; but i fell he could try something other than the slow style he always seems to do. If you like him, good for you don’t let me turn you away from what you like; he’s just not my cup of tea.

Which brings us on to Writing’s On The Wall. Now i have to confess on how i was skeptical about the choice of Smith to do the theme song; but hey multiple Bond themes have been ballets and and less energetic tunes. Said songs including ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and Adele’s ‘Skyfall’. So is this song any good for a James Bond movie? Kind of. It’s decent..i guess.

Yeah that seems to be the general reaction this song has got on the internet. Channel 5 news went to the Bond in Motion exhibit in London (a exhibit i highly recommend going to by the way) where they played to the track to people who went there; in order to film their reactions. And the majority of people said it was ‘alright’. Not exactly a great sign there. Honestly for a Bond theme i find this one kind of dull. As i said about Sam;  his vocals are well performed, while the music and the melody are lacking.

The most i can really call this song, is Skyfall 2.0. Mainly due to how their both vocal based ballets. So we now have the theme to Skyfall with a male singing this time. While the music behind that tune was decent; this track is rather dull and almost lifeless even by Sam’s standards. The beat mostly goes through with a simple piano chords and a short melody, with changes in their chord and rhythm patterns; and even then it still goes at the same pace, with the verses being unmemorable to listen. With the exception of the intro and the second half of the chorus, the whole song sounds the same. The whole thing separating the chorus from everything else is the change of pacing and the volume and Sam’s voice.

His vocals being the saving point of this whole track, but not by much. The song itself is really bland and is flat out boring. This is the theme to a action movie; no one should’ve fallen asleep by the first ten minutes. While Sam in tune, and does show concomitant vocals skills; given the note and volume changes in the chorus, it’s less of a emotionally high point and more of a a tempt to wake the listener up.

Overall while i am still excited to see Spectre when it’s released in cinemas, i can’t say i will be too pumped to continue on wards when this is the pay of after the first action scene (With the exception of Dr No it’s usually the first scene, then the opening credits). I wanted to give Sam a chance despite what i said about him early, i wanted to say: “yes this is really damn good, and i think this guy’s on to something here”. And while i’m still all for you disagreeing with me on the quality of his work; but for me instead of challenging my thoughts on the guy, his now given me a key example of what i said about him several paragraphs ago.

If you’d like to listen to his track, it can be found on Spotify and on Youtube; as all ways thank you for reading.

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