Review for the New James Bond Theme, “Another Way to Die” performed by Jack White and Alicia Keys

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With such a huge history in music and visual media,you would think that an artist performing a theme for one of film’s biggest franchises would not only be original, but also be far better. The beginning sounds as if they had just recently heard “You Know My Name” (Casino Royaletheme) and said, “Well, that sounds good. Let’s try that and something new!”. The duet is a first and should be a last. The voices, which are used for very different purposes in their original music, clash against each other making it hard to concentrate on vocals. Not to mention the fact that Alicia Keys, no matter how good she is, is not a good choice to perform a Bond theme. The voice is far better in a realm it recognizes and that is R&B. The lyrics are very dark and not fun to listen to. Sure, Bond isn’t all about gushy songs (From Russia with Love by Matt Munro) or villains (Goldfingerby Shirley Bassey), and yes, Quantum of Solacedoes deal with revenge, but what all the theme songs have in common with each other is that they are a show. They are a spectacle for the ears and, once good ol’ Daniel Kleinman gets to work on the main titles, the eyes. The lyrics are not so much bad, but made with ill will, making Bond out to be this man who is out for nothing but  revenge, which we know isn’t true. The lyric calling 007 a man “with a slick trigger finger for Her Majesty” makes me cringe each time! This is a major disappointment. Not since Shirley Bassey’s Moonrakerhave I ever wanted to pull the plug on my computer, iPod, or radio that was playing a 007 theme. Oh, and Patti LaBelle’s “Licence to Kill” wasn’t all that great either, but still better than this.

Grade: C-

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