When a preview of Adele‘s James Bond single “Skyfall” got leaked earlier this week, I was a bit underwhelmed despite the song being written by the same team who did “Rolling in the Deep” (that is, Adele and Paul Epworth). I think I’ve just been spoiled by that great Adele/Daft Punk mash-up, so I like a faster tempo to my songs. That’s not what “Skyfall” does, but it’s also not what it set out to do. It brings to mind classic Bond themes sung by Shirley Bassey, like “Goldfinger”—and in that way it’s a success.
Adele of course sounds gorgeous, and she sells the lyrics even though they err on the side of cheesy. I think I’m just used to the really revved up Bond anthems from Casino Royale, Die Another Day, etc. But if you consider the actual synopsis of this movie, it makes a lot of sense why the theme song is so somber:
In Skyfall, Bond’s (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past returns to haunt her. 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. When Bond’s latest assignment goes gravely wrong and agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows — aided only by field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris) – following a trail to the mysterious Silva (Javier Bardem), whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves.
Skyfall comes out November 9, 2012. OK, after multiple listens, I like this song a lot more. To commemorate Bond’s 50th anniversary and a movie that will has the potential to reboot the franchise, Adele is the most suitable choice. And no surprise, the track is already #1 on iTunes. Was “Skyfall” everything you wanted it to be?