Sam Smith Covers Another All-Time Classic
  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2014

  • Posted by: Don Saas

Sam Smith... let's have a chat. Your cover of Whitney Houston's "How Do I Know?" was gorgeous. You have, handily, one of the best voices of the modern age. But, dude... Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" is part of the modern canon. You just covered it for the BBC Live Lounge. And it's good. You turn the song into a soulful jazz standard as opposed to its folk roots.

But, you're covering "Fast Car." If you touch that song, it's got to be better than good. It has to be great because you're talking about one of the greatest songs of the 1980s. It still boggles my mind that a song that dark and tragic and fueled by real-life notions of generational poverty became a cross-over hit in the 80s. And, I'm going to be honest Mr. Smith; I'm not sure if you're cover crossed the threshold into great. And as great as your voice is, you haven't quite captured the emotional gravitas that Tracy Chapman brought fully to bear on this tune.

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