Sam Smith – ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ (Review)


⭐⭐ (Poor)

I realise that this isn’t a film review but seeing as the James Bond song is always a big spectacle, why not review it?

Coming off Adele’s Oscar-winning theme for ‘Skyfall’, writing a Bond song was always going to be a heavy challenge. After months of denying rumours, it was finally announced on 8th September that Sam Smith would be taking the helm of penning the song for the upcoming James Bond film, ‘Spectre’. The single was released on 25th September and the video shortly after. It has received mixed reviews and comparisons have been unfavourably made against it sounding very similar to Michael Jackson’s, ‘Earth Song’.

Sadly, ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ is an uninspired and poorly written effort by Smith and the claims that the song sounds very reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s, ‘Earth Song’ are true. It bears many resemblances to the Grammy-nominated hit and the lyrics are extremely poor, particularly the cringe-inducing first lines – “I’ve been here before but always hit the floor” which corroborate the claim that Smith made when he boasted of how easy the task was and how he wrote the song in 20 minutes. Smith seems to think that covering up the stodgy lyrics with an orchestral piece will mask the lyrics which for the most part it does but the piece never comes to a satisfying climax and ends abruptly.

I had a bad feeling that the song wouldn’t be any good which has turned out to be true but what really angers me is how the verses copy the rhythm of ‘Earth Song’. After listening to ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, I was inspired to listen to ‘Earth Song’ and had a much more entertaining time listening to that.

The video fares slightly better – it’s quite a thoughtful and well edited video and dodgy lyrics aside, I could actually almost connect with the song with the events happening on-screen, James Bond with the new Bond girls played by Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci.

Overall, a real shame with what Sam Smith has churned out and perhaps if he had spent longer than 20 minutes writing the song, it would have fared better. The lyrics are cringe-worthy and uninspired but the orchestral piece isn’t too bad, as is the video. However the glaring resemblances to Michael Jackson’s, ‘Earth Song’ are unforgivable. Here’s hoping this isn’t a bad omen for the film itself.

‘Spectre’ will be released in cinemas nationwide on 26th October.

⭐⭐ (Poor)

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