History is being made today for the Bond franchise because Samuel Frederick “Sam” Smith was tapped for the theme song Spectre, due out in October and November, depending where you reside.
I watched a couple of videos, since like many of my friends, the first question that came out of my lips upon hearing the announcement was “Who is Sam Smith?” Well, he’s 23 and I believe he may be the youngest singer/songwriter to have the honor of a Bond film theme song. He’s a newcomer to the music scene; he popped onto the UK Singles Chart in late 2012 with “Latch” that he followed up with his debut album Lay Me Down in early 2013.
Smith’s song “Stay With Me” was similar enough to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” that an out-of-court settlement was reached. Petty’s, as well as Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne (singer/songwriter), names were added to the song credit. In spite of the settlement, Smith was not slowing down though.
At the Grammy Awards earlier this year, Smith garnered four awards: Best New Arts, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album. At the Brit Awards, he won British Breakthrough Act and Global Success awards.
Adele, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and a number of other divas has Smith cited as influential on his style of singing. I listened to a few of his songs, including “Lay Me Down” because Smith mentioned in an interview that he was inspired to write “Writing’s on the Wall” (the Spectre theme song title) while he was recording the former song. He also said it took him 20 minutes to write the song.
With what I heard – songs and interviews – I am leary as to the soundness of selecting such a young singer with a vocal style that sounds hesitant and a little too breathless that he tends to cut and shorten the pronunciation of words during his songs. This was quite evident in his cover of Houston’s “How Will I Know.” Adele may be a muse, however, Smith may end up a pale comparison and might not find the success that Adele did with Skyfall.
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