In a recent interview with Refinery29, budding electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso said that pop music is the new rock 'n' roll: It spills into every genre. Whether that be dance music, hip-hop, or R&B, pop has its fingers in almost every sonic pie. And, UK wunderkind Sam Smith is fronting pop's soul train.
After Disclosure, another UK export, featured him on "Latch," Smith's voice was heralded as the Second Coming of Adele. His runaway single "Stay With Me," an ode to the one-night stand, has held a steady spot atop the charts, making Smith's forthcoming debut album, In The Lonely Hour, one of the summer's most anticipated releases. And, when you consider what else is coming (Sia, La Roux), Smith's contribution will be the much-needed soul this summer needs.
On Monday, Smith debuted a new, live version of "Stay With Me" featuring Mary J. Blige. Blige takes the second verse and riffs all over it. Together, she and Smith make a song that's goes down smooth like expensive Scotch, but without the potential of a hangover. Unless, of course, said hangover is Sam Smith-fueled, in which case, bring it on.