Friday, September 25, 2015

Here's Sam Smith's Bond song and guess what? It's a ballad

Bond songs are at their best when they're utterly preposterous. Whether it's Paul McCartney sticking a firework up the bottom of a symphony orchestra, or Madonna intoning, "Sigmund Freud: Analyse this," the tracks that suit the franchise best are the ones that match it for popcorn bombast.

Which is why Daniel Craig's po-faced Bond hasn't really had a classic theme. Even Adele's Skyfall, the best-selling Bond song to date, is a bit flat.

So, what are we to make of Sam Smith's entry into the canon, Writing's On The Wall? It makes all the right moves - a tumescent orchestra, a soaring vocal, and lyrics that delve into the super-spy's psyche: "I've spent a lifetime running, but always get away."

But it's also a little dreary. I can't begin to imagine what the nudie silhouette ladies are going to do during the title sequence. Have a nap? Scroll through Twitter? It's certainly not a song you could have a deep throaty snog to, even if you were as suave as James Bond.

Nonetheless, I suspect this will be the first Bond theme to reach number one (it's already at the top of iTunes). The publicity campaign has been flawlessly executed, and Mr Smith is an artist at the top of his game. Plus, it seems like it's going to be a grower.

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