Sam Smith Fails at Honoring Donna Summer


Not on your life: Sam Smith “I Feel Love” This is an attempt at a rather faithful remake of the Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte 1977 classic “I Feel Love” by Sam Smith and produced by Disclosure’s Guy Lawrence. The original changed music; this version tries to keep it the same. A huge problem with that is Sam Smith is… not Donna Summer, nor do they seem to even understand what Donna Summer was doing with her voice and expression. Hearing them try to mimic her is so terribly misguided that it plays like comedy. But there’s nothing funny about “I Feel Love,” so it also sounds like a low-key train-wrecking of sensibilities. The best way to honor a classic is almost always to leave it alone. —Rich Juzwiak

Nah: Lauv, “Sims” – This short film and song is perfect if sleepy, apathetic radio pop is your jam, bonus points for a vocalist with an unremarkable and unmemorable tone. I keep waiting for the day for Lauv to hit. This clearly isn’t it. —Maria Sherman

Y: Torres, “Good Scare” – Off of 4AD Records and now signed to Merge, it has been a while since Torres sounded so free. “Good Scare” is our first taste of her forthcoming fourth full-length LP—a haunting track in which she dives deep into her electronic impulses to craft a gorgeous-yet-brief rumination on falling in love. It’s frightening, yet well worth the leap. —MS

Yes: Blood Orange ft. Toro y Moi, “Dark & Handsome” (music video) – A beautiful song gets a wonderfully simple visual—it’s rare that the art mediums match so seamlessly. It’s “Dark & Handsome,” indeed, and a fun watch for your weekend. —MS

Smoke it, like it’s a joint: Christian Engh, “Balkong” – Here’s the right way to do retro: By breathing new, unique life into it. Engh’s “Balkong” prominently features a galloping ‘90s Eurohouse bass line, but with moody chords atop and all at a cooler tempo. It’s like La Bouche stoned silent on indica. Euro never mad much of a sense of atmosphere, unless “eager to fill stadiums” counts as atmosphere. What a vibe. Prins Thomas’s remix goes for a more Eurodisco angle and is practically just as righteous in its endeavor. —RJ

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