Bond themes lost their glitter for me when Tomorrow Never Dies was mistakenly released with KD Lang’s “Surrender” used for the credits and not the main theme, and Sheryl Crow’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” being used as the main theme when it obviously belonged over the credits. A bond theme is meant to be both epic and catchy, it is the fanfare for the latest incarnation of the longest running film franchise.
The next James Bond theme received its inaugural airplay today on BBC Radio 1’s Jo Whiley show. Unfortunately this effort by Alicia Keys and Jack “I didn’t sign up for a Coke advert” White doesn’t work for me at all. Moody pseudo rap over predictably dirty guitars provided by White, and the frequent incoherent warbling of Keys just don’t have the gravitas required. “Another Way To Die” is very obviously a Jack White track, and has themic elements that are definitely there to fit with visual elements of the title sequence but on its own it just doesn’t have the clarity and strength you’d expect from a Bond theme. Also, I know we’re in a darker and dirtier time when you’re never sure who the baddy in the film really is, but does the music need to be equally dark and dirty? I like a dark, moody tune, and I’m a fan of low-fi, dirty beats but in this instance it frequently sounds like poor production rather than purposeful grime.
As a saving grace I’ll fall back on my Dad’s film motto:
If the title song is rubbish the film has got to be good
It didn’t always work, but I’m hoping on this occaision.