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Sam Smith delivers tender new James Bond theme song with Writing’s on the Wall

Today, after denials and cryptic tweets, Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall has been released as the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, Spectre. Smith becomes the first British male solo singer to sing a 007 theme song since Tom Jones sang the theme for the fourth Bond film, Thunderball in 1965.

Related: Sam Smith will sing the Spectre theme song

Smith’s elegantly somber Writing’s On The Wall is a bit of a departure from the operatic force that was Adele’s Skyfall theme song from 2012. That song earned Adele an Oscar for Best Original Song.

That the Spectre theme sounds distinctly softer than many of its predecessors is by design, according to its singer. Smith told NPR Morning Edition his intention with the song was to bring a “a touch of vulnerability” to Bond. But, Smith revealed to The Sun, Spectre director Sam Mendes oversaw the lyrics of the song so Bond “didn’t sound weak” and “he still sounded powerful.” The song is already getting praise from former James Bond actor, Roger Moore:

James Bonds’ softness has been a point of contention in recent months. The estate of James Bond creator Ian Fleming commissioned Anthony Horowitz to write the upcoming Bond novel. Horowitz recently criticized recent Bond films as featuring a “weak” Bond and disapproves of the upcoming Spectre delving into Bond’s family background. In a recent interview, Horowitz said “I don’t want to know about his doubts, his insecurities or weaknesses. I just want to see him act, kill, win.” The author has had no shame in sharing his sometimes controversial opinions about the character, causing a recent social media kerfuffle for the racial implications of telling the Daily Mail that he felt actor Idris Elba was “too street” for the role.

The new James Bond film, Spectre, hits theaters in North America on November 6.

Stream Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall below: