A new James Bond film is being released today.
While I do enjoy the films, I can’t get too excited about Skyfall – the 23rd in the series so far and the 3rd starring Daniel Craig.
Even if it is the greatest film about the spy EVER as the reviews seem to suggest; catching it on telly in a year will suit me just fine.
However, I do admit to looking forward to the theme songs for each new film – for me the most fun part of the process.
So I’m disappointed to report myself entirely underwhelmed by the Skyfall theme released this week by Adele.
It’s a very standard Bond theme – too much for me as it happens. After hearing it twice, it instantly felt like it’s been around for years – comfortable but not distinctive.
As per usual, the John Barry chord shifts are present and correct. The lyrics evoke lines and scenes from previous James Bond films. It’s a slow build, restrained initially, then an eruption of sound. The final chorus even has the patented Shirley Bassey treatment.
While Adele brings her usual soulful appeal, this track lacks any of her personality and character, especially when compared to earlier theme tracks – bold, fresh and confident. It’s a throwback to the 60’s Femme Fatal that only highlights how much we’ve moved on, both socially and musically!
It’s a tightrope that all theme attempts must march – honouring the established traditions, while creating something new. Madonna moved furthest away (IMHO), releasing the least Bond sounding theme – Die Another Die. While I dislike the track, I respect the effort.
Bond wouldn’t be Bond without its theme, but perhaps new directions should be explored before the music becomes utterly reductive.
What do you reckon? Instant classic? Or somewhat less memorable?
Adele – Skyfall