After some slight teases over the past couple of weeks, the folks at Ion have dropped the new Bond theme: “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith for the upcoming Spectre.
Listen to it here:
First impressions: I like it. I’m digging the string arrangements, they feel mysterious and out of a classic bond theme. I think that they evoke the mood of the trailers, and I’m feeling the juxtaposition of the strings against the snowy backdrops.
That is, of course, if they do integrate the theme into the score. The best Bond score/theme combos are the ones that work together and make the whole thing feel a lot more cohesive (see: Casino Royale, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger). Given the lush arrangements in this one, I think it’s probably a good bet.
As for the Sam Smith factor: meh. I don’t hate the vocals, but I think they lean a little to much into the falsetto during the chorus. The lyrics are fine; typical James Bond love theme stuff. I guess Smith’s vocals just seem a little soft coming off the heels of Adele, Jack White/Alicia Keys (blegh), and Chris Cornell. I like my Bond themes with the Shirley Bassey power (I even like Tom Jones Thunderball theme, as dumb as it is).
I guess this one feels more intimate? Maybe that’s what they’re going for? I don’t know yet, but hey, that’s the fun! The theme always feels kind of orphaned until it’s heard in the context of the movie. Maybe Smith’s high pitched, lovelorn crooning will fit in better after a killer cold open.
What do you think about the new song?