Everyone Thinks Sam Smith's New Bond Tune is Rubbish

Illustration for article titled Everyone Thinks Sam Smith's New Bond Tune is Rubbish

We’re just weeks away from the release of the latest James Bond epic Spectre, and now we know what the theme music will be. This time around the film-makers have opted to commission Sam Smith (the singer, not the beer as everyone knows that Bond drinks Martinis), and he’s come up with a track titled “Writing’s On The Wall”.

Advertisement

The song premiered on the radio this morning and is currently available for listening on Spotify. There’s just one problem though: it is slightly more than a Quantum of Rubbish. Sam Smith admitted that the track only took 20 minutes to pen – maybe a little more time spent on the drawing board would have been welcome?

Imagine the world’s most generic man writing a slightly off-key song that is supposed to sound like a Bond theme tune while not breaking any copyright rules, and you’ll end up with what we are presented with today.

Twitter’s reaction has been quick and harsh too.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Of course, no Bond theme tune will ever match up to those composed by Adam and Joe when Quantum of Solace came out of a few years ago – have a listen to these below.


Illustration for article titled Everyone Thinks Sam Smith's New Bond Tune is Rubbish
Advertisement

This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.

DISCUSSION

Not that it means much, but lifelong musician/composer here…

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the notion of something springing fully-formed from one’s pen in twenty minutes, but this theme doesn’t have the propulsive force of inspiration or craft behind it. There’s nothing to indicate that some producer’s nephew didn’t knock it off on the sly.

Did that twenty minutes produce anything other than a few verses jotted on paper? Was there a melody or chord sequence? I’m not sure what constitutes “songwriting” these days.

Think of the goosebumps you get listening to Adele; there’s nothing like that here. The vocals sound like a one-pass scratch track from a session that ended when Mr. Smith said “good enough.” No melodic hook that stays with you after one listen, and nothing to make you go back and listen again.

Someone did a nice job of arranging an orchestral bed for it, but there’s really no “there” there. As others have said, an opportunity like this would have most musicians agonizing at great length to produce something that would represent their work for the rest of their lives; I think that will indeed happen here, but not exactly in the way Mr. Smith might have hoped. It really doesn’t seem as if he cared at all.

If he’d come up with Live and Let Die in twenty minutes, we’d acknowledge songwriting genius; this is more like “so, you didn’t think it was worth taking the whole weekend? What, was there an important soccer match on the telly?”