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Sam Smith’s brilliant Spectre theme song gets a video: It’s meh

Sam Smith has released the official music video for his theme song for the upcoming James Bond movie Spectre. The song, titled Writing’s on the Wall is a love ballad unlike the powerful anthem that was Adele’s Skyfall.

hollywood Updated: Oct 05, 2015 19:22 IST
Rohan Naahar
Rohan Naahar
Hindustan Times
Sam Smith,Spectre,James Bond

When Sam Smith released his highly-anticipated theme song for the upcoming Bond flick Spectre some (mostly Smith fans) were overjoyed and others (Bond lovers) not so much. But even the most cynical grudgingly accepted that one could only truly appreciate a Bond theme when it’s paired with the opening credits sequence. Well, we’ll have to wait for the film for that, but what we can make do with till then is the official music video for Writing’s on the Wall. Here it is.

As far as videos go it’s sort of underwhelming, comprised mostly of shots of Sam Smith singing in various locations we’ve seen in the trailer, and, for some odd reason in what appears to be a cellar. There is also footage from the film interspersed in between Sam Smith lips in soft focus.

The theme though, is quite fantastic. Anything that subverts expectations deserves credit, and this one upends almost all of them. Smith was an odd choice to start with, but his theme ushers Bond into a whole new age. Like the film itself, Smith was faced with the daunting challenge of eclipsing the highs of all things Skyfall. No one is going to forget it or its brilliant theme anytime soon.

But instead of trying to replicate Adele’s song, Smith takes his in a completely different direction. Where Adele’s was a formidable showcase of her powerhouse vocals, Smith’s, against all logic, is a love ballad.

And what an emotionally powerful one it is. It continues with the Daniel Craig series trend of featuring a more vulnerable and human Bond. It’s symphonic, soulful and deeply melancholic. Matthew Vaughn would not be pleased.

Also read: It took Sam Smith just 20 minutes to write Bond theme song

And just when you expect it to take the safe route, it launches into one of the most pleasantly surprising choruses to a Bond theme ever. Smith gracefully slips into a falsetto and in near silence, emotes the words: How do I live? How do I breathe? / When you’re not here I’m suffocating / I want to feel love, run through my blood / Tell me is this where I give it all up? / For you I have to risk it all / Cause the writing’s on the wall

While the video (underwhelming we remember calling it) would have you believe that Bond is singing this to the damaged Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) or Dr Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), the fanboy within us wishes he were singing it for his one true love Vesper Lynd. What a fitting end that would be to the Craig series.

We also get a bunch of new footage from the film, the most intriguing being Bond driving what appears to be a vintage Rolls across a desert.

Spectre is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista and Christoph Waltz. It will premiere on 26 October in the UK. And James Bond, as they (Daniel Craig) say, will return.

Watch the trailer again here

The author tweets @NaaharRohan

First Published: Oct 05, 2015 17:16 IST