Skip to main content

Adele performs during the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 in Los Angeles.

Matt Sayles/AP

Title
Skyfall
Artist
Adele
Year
2012

The name's Adele – just Adele – and she chose to accept the mission of creating and singing the title theme to the new James Bond film, Skyfall.

The song, co-written with Rolling in the Deep collaborator Paul Epworth, is in the smoke-and-brass tradition of Goldfinger. The mood is minor-key and ominous, with Adele stoic in the face of a romantic and/or Chicken-Little catastrophe – "This is the end, hold your breath and count to ten / Feel the earth move and then, hear my heart burst again." The hit-maker's heart may burst, but her throat does not: She rounds down instead of spiking up, which is either sombre nuance or a vocal concession.

The track was recorded at London's illustrious Abbey Road Studios, with an orchestra that numbered 77 players. But who's counting.

Story continues below advertisement

OTHER ESSENTIAL TRACKS

R&B/ROCK

But'n

Andre Williams, from Life (Alive Natural Sounds); streaming at http://soundcloud.com/pavement-pr/andre-williams-butn

The 76-year-old garage-soul legend who survived Ike Turner and various sleezy addictions has no time for proper contractions or those who in cut in line. The groove is riff-based and insistent. The guitar solo is wicked and weird. And those who are impatient to the point of rudeness are smacked down hard – "why don't you just stop but'n?"

BLUES: Be My Husband

Meshell Ndegeocello (featuring Valerie June), from Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication To Nina Simone; free download at http://www.girlieaction.com/music/meshell_ndegeocello/downloads/Be_My_Husband_feat_Valerie_June.mp3

Story continues below advertisement

On her tribute to Nina Simone (translated as "For a Sovereign Soul"), Meshell Ndegeocello enlists guest singers including the intriguing folk artist Valerie June. The chorus is dreamy, but the verse is a seriously delivered country-blues request for an equal partnership. The end result: A wedding song for those no-nonsense brides-to-be.

POP/ROCK: Matterhorn

Jason Lytle, from the forthcoming Dept. of Disappearance (Anti-); streaming at http://www.npr.org/2012/10/07/162299665/first-listen-jason-lytle-dept-of-disappearance

A sad, cinematic song aims toward the sky and reaches its peak gently. "What's wrong with the safe and warm," the Grandaddy frontman asks, questioning audacious quests.  A mountain climber dies frozen on the way down – no second Alping for him.

ALT-COUNTRY: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Mike Coykendall, from Chashing Away The Dots (Fluff & Gravy); streaming at http://vimeo.com/46945883

Story continues below advertisement

On a haunting, one-chord version of a classic blue-struck ballad, Hank Williams' whip-poor-will bird flies low and lonesome. A frog-croak harmony and a touch of psychedelia produce a mesmerizing effect.

VIDEO / POP: All Your Gold

Bat For Lashes, directed by Noel Paul; streaming at http://www.batforlashes.com

Dressed in ying-yang black-and-white, the singer Natasha Khan dances purposely and starkly on dark beach, often flashing her expressive shoulder blades.  Khan's "someone that I knew before" could be Gotye, the singer-songwriter who is either honoured or litigious when it comes to song's the unabashed likeness to his Somebody That I Used to Know mega-hit.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies