Writers: Adele, Paul Epworth
Producer: Paul Epworth
Released: 5 October 2012
The name’s ADELE. James...no wait, just Adele.
*insert cockney laugh here*
British singer/songwriter Adele has co-written and performed a James Bond themesong for the new film Skyfall. Coincidentally, the song’s called Skyfall.
She’s written it with Paul Epworth with whom she wrote Rolling in the Deep. (Another song I wish I’d written). Big tick to the James Bond Music Director for choosing these two.
Look, I don’t have the faintest idea what the film Skyfall is about, and just like most of the other James Bond films, I’m unlikely to go and see it. Action films aren’t my thing. But we all know the James Bond theme music is a killer. (Sorry). But it is! Those flaring muted trumpets! And that sly guitar! They don’t make it like that anymore.
So I was excited when I heard echoes of the original theme music creep into the new song, starting with the iconic murky brass chords, using the trademark step-wise bassline in the verses, kept in place by simple drumkit rhythms (which always remind me of high school stage bands).
On first listen I was blasé about it. It doesn’t rival Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger. But it walks all over Madonna’s Die Another Day. And now, I can’t get this darn thing out of my head! It’s catchy, but not annoyingly so. The lyrics are vague, like a lot of Adele’s songs, but the writing’s clean, so it just lets the melody do its thing. And what a strong melody! Seriously, as a result of me singing this constantly around the house, (along with having the flu), I’ve lost my voice. I’m dying for it to return completely so I can sing this song again!
Speaking of voices, let’s speak of Adele’s. How does she do it? How does she sound so effortlessly powerful? Most other belters around seem to overdo it. But Adele sounds incredibly strong without being forced. And unlike a lot of belters, it seems to come directly from the very depths of her soul. A cliche, but so true.
Adele is also the master of vocal textures and colours, in my opinion. One minute she sounds soft and tender; the next, she’s as assertive as all hell. I love the textural differences between her lower and upper registers. She does lovely little slides without being indulgent. She uses just the right amount of vibrato. And those little jazz ornaments floor me. Listen to the little vocal turn she’s put in on the end of the word “overdue” at 1.11. Gorgeous.
Favourite line: “You may have my number. You can have my name. But you cannot take my heart.”
Adele, can I take your voice?
James Bond theme music