Singer Sam Smith was blasted on social media after he beat out the likes of Lady Gaga and The Weeknd to win the Oscar for Best Original Song. Though Smith had dedicated his win to the LGBTQ community in his acceptance speech, many music critics and fans are calling foul on the Smith’s win. Smith was also criticized for his comment about “being the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.”
Smith won the Oscar for “The Writing’s on The Wall,” the theme song from the latest James Bond film Spectre. This marked the first time that a Bond film has won two Oscars for the franchise. However, many have claimed the Smith’s tune is mediocre by Bond standards; and some have classified it as the worst Bond theme ever.
Critics have proclaimed that Smith was the worst choice to land the coveted Bond theme. A privilege that many musicians have obtained including the likes of legendary artists Shirley Bassey, Sir Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, and previous Oscar-winning Bond singer, Adele. Though many artists in the past have sang Bond theme’s that were deemed lackluster, Smith’s seems to be the one that gets the most flack.
The Guardian weighed in on Smith’s Bond theme.
“‘Writing’s on the Wall’ doesn’t feel anywhere near as striking as ‘Skyfall.’ That may be because it’s essentially offering more of the same, while ‘Skyfall’ felt like a break with the recent past, or it may be because it just isn’t as good a song. There’s something quite bold about a male singer using a Bond theme to convey vulnerability… the result feels less like a Bond theme song than a latterday pop ballad – the kind of thing that X Factor contestants have a crack at – with big strings and 007 references bolted on. It may well be commercially buoyed by Smith’s ongoing success in the same way that Adele’s fame impacted on ‘Skyfall,’ but the chances of it joining the pantheon of Bond themes that anyone with even a passing interest in pop music can hum seem pretty slender.”
The Atlantic compared Smith’s vocals to that of “cats mewling.”
“Smith’s quavering voice and fussy phrasing have already made him the rare modern pop star who’s controversial for purely musical reasons, and lo, the knee-jerk reaction on Twitter to ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ has been to compare the song to the sound of cats mewling. But as people sit with the song and notice the way it drifts and simpers and contemplates putting down the revolver for romance, they may realize what actually makes the song a departure, and what it actually says about the era we live in.”
Smith beat out the likes of Lady Gaga who was heavily favored to win the Oscar for Best Original Song. This left many viewers upset that Smith was named the winner for a song that wasn’t well received.
— Sunita Martini (@sunnymartini) February 29, 2016
— Slate (@Slate) February 29, 2016
Honestly, Sam Smith did not deserve that at all. Look at the impact TIHTY had and how many people it empowered. Diane & LG were robbed.
— LUKE (@HausOfLucas) February 29, 2016
— Consequence of Sound (@coslive) February 29, 2016
This isn’t the first time Smith has received criticism for his work. In January of 2015, Smith was accused of stealing the melody from Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” in his critically acclaimed song “Stay With Me.” Smith later settled the issue with Petty, and both he and co-song writer Jeff Lynne received writing credit. Smith would go on to win two Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of The Year.
What do you think of Sam Smith’s Oscar Win? Do you feel he should’ve won or not? Leave your comments below.
[Header photo courtesey Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]