BLOGS

Little Solace In This Song

by Tippi Blevins September 19, 2008 11:29 am
Little <i>Solace</i> In This Song Although snippets of the song first debuted in Coke advertisements, people yesterday got their first full listen of the new Bond theme song by Alicia Keys and Jack White. There was a lot of anticipation for this ditty -- the first duet in the Bond franchise's history -- so it's unsurprising that for many it doesn't completely live up to the hope/hype. Radio 1 listeners heard "Another Way to Die" for the first time and, according to the BBC, reactions were "mixed." A Los Angeles Times blog dings the song for relying on elements of the "instantly recognizable Bond theme" for its hooks rather than rather than coming up with anything new of its own. Another complaint is that the singers' voices are "not meshing well". My main problem with it is that I keep wanting to type "Die Another Day", Madonna's similarly-titled Bond song from a few years back.

Bond songs can be tricky. The movies sometimes have arcane-sounding or outright bizarre titles that can be difficult to work in. Difficult or just plain silly. Tom Jones managed to belt out "Thunderball" with believable gusto, but Bond songs don't always refer to the films' titles. Lyricist Tim Rice chose (wisely) not to make Rita Coolidge sing about lewd-sounding cephalopods for Octopussy's theme song, "All Time High." Presumably Jack White took a look at the title Quantum of Solace and made a similar choice, with only one lyric, "tricky little gun giving solace," referring in any way to the name of the movie.

Fans' disappointment and musical critique aren't the only problems facing this song, either. According to NME, "Jack White has distanced himself from a new TV advert" that uses the song. His management explains that "'White was commissioned by Sony Pictures to write a theme song for... Quantum of Solace, not for Coca Cola." Apparently nobody told White that product tie-ins and James Bond movies go together like... well, like voices that mesh well.

You can hear the song for yourself at the Third Man Records website.

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