Musical Discovery: ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ by Sam Smith

Ahead of the release of the new Bomd film, Spectre, speculations and rumours circulated about the title song and who would sing it. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Sam Smith would be singing the track, entitled Writing’s on the Wall, for the movie. So, as a special Musical Discovery post, today I review the new Bond track for Spectre.

A music video has yet to be released for the song, but the artwork has been revealed. Source: @samsmithworld on Twitter

Opening with a powerful timpani roll before introducing horns and strings, the song already contains the stereotypical, grandiose style that constantly appears in classic Bond theme songs – plus a little bit of Harry Potter.

At this point, listeners can already make comparisons between Skyfall and Writing’s on the Wall. Both songs begin with a strong timpani introduction and slow, relaxed piano chords to ease in the vocals.

However, unlike Skyfall, the shift into the opening verse occurs more quickly. It is not long before Sam Smith’s vocals begin. Smith’s vocal style in the track fits the mellow chords of the piano perfectly, and the rhythm of the lyrics is different and intriguing.

Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting the chorus and the lack of a driving drum beat is disappointing. But, upon listening to the track once again, I feel as though the chorus’ dramatic fanfare is fitting for Smith’s vocals and the overall style of the piece. We also see Sam explore high notes which demonstrate his talents as a singer and cements the idea of him being ‘the male Adele’.

But as the song continues, it develops further to avoid a rigid song structure. Whilst the chorus lyrics are memorable, the verses remain unique, with new instrumental melodies being added and Smith exploring different vocal styles each time.

Overall, it is another great Bond theme which combines Sam Smith’s perfect vocals with typical Bond grandeur. Despite finding the lack of drums disappointing, the song works well without them. As well as this, listeners shouldn’t be too quick to judge, as we tend to find that the song replicates the tone of the movie well. Upon seeing the movie, reviewers can make a more informed decision.

But for now, Writing’s on the Wall fits the Bond style perfectly, and Sam Smith’s vocals bring powerful soul which is brilliant alongside atmospheric instrumentals.

What do you think of the track? Will you be seeing Spectre? Comment below!

Liam

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