Yes, 2019 is all but less than a month old, but Normani and Sam Smith have already come out guns blazing with their new track: “Dancing with a Stranger.”
In recent years, “sad bops,” or songs with uptempo-ish melodies and melancholic themes, have dominated airwaves and playlists. Think records like “Green Light” (Lorde); “One Last Time” (Ariana Grande); or “Be Careful” (Cardi B). While the concept isn’t new, artists are increasingly experimenting with blending heavy and/or sad lyrics with bouncy instrumentals.
On their 80s influenced new track, Normani and Sam trade verses about how they “don’t want to be alone tonight” and are “still thinkin’ about” each other. The premise of the song is a broken up couple that finds solace in the club as they try to dance away the pain and longing of a fractured relationship. Lyrically, the song is perfect pop: punchy imagery, adequate repetition, and instant relatability. Sam and Normani deliver slinky and soft vocal performances over the lush, muted beat. Everything on the track works very well, but the song is missing a climax. The production gets a bit redundant and the song feels longer than it should because of the lack of change in dynamics.
Regardless, Sam and Normani work incredibly well together and this sound fits both of them very well.
Featured Image Source: Steve Schofield