11 January 2023 (released)
19 January 2023
First and foremost, Sam Smith is an undisputed lyrical and sonic risk-taker. Though many would argue that ‘Love Me More’, the first single released from Smith’s hotly anticipated forthcoming album ‘Gloria’, is blissfully reminiscent of the ballad-style, downtempo music from the ‘In the Lonely Hour’ era, Smith returned with a bang after ‘Unholy’, their satisfyingly bass-heavy and hyper-pop collaboration with fellow queer-icon Kim Petras, exploded to the top of the charts; both here in the UK and internationally.
The sexually liberating and upbeat nature of ‘Unholy’ paved way for the release of ‘Gimmie’. The single, a three-way collaboration between Smith, Koffee and Jessie Reyez, oozes Sam’s newfound confidence both lyrically and audibly. From the perspective of the listener, it is so refreshing to finally see Smith so in-touch with, embracing, and fundamentally owning, their sexuality and gender identity. With the release of this track, the superstar, who publicly came out as non-binary in 2019, opts for a somewhat R&B influenced, reggae/dancehall infused track over which they sing lyrics such as ‘your eyes on my dun, dun-dun-dun-dun’ and ‘when I’m crazy and drunk on love, give me what I want’.
Though the single does emit a sense of familiarity, insofar as it is not sonically dissimilar to the early discographies of Koffee, Reyez and other prominent R&B and hip-hop artists, it is, by contrast, a new-fangled sound for Sam and one that perhaps the ‘little sailors’, Smith’s diehard fan base, were not expecting. ‘Gimmie’ marks a new chapter for Sam – one which will be defined by musical experimentation and versatility.
Aside from Smith, the performances of Koffee and Jessie Reyez on this track must be equally applauded. Koffee, as usual, delivers her feature verse with ease whilst her Jamaican reggae style fits perfectly with the essence of the song. Meanwhile, though Reyez is, for want of a better phrase, ‘lyrically limited’ to just singing the plain but undeniably catchy chorus of ‘gimmie, what I want’, I can’t help but appreciate that Smith is giving her an A-list level platform to showcase her distinctive song writing and vocal capabilities (If you get a chance, listen to Reyez’s major-label releases – they’re impeccable!)
Overall, the song is a must-listen and makes me increasingly more excited for the eventual release of ‘Gloria’. Solid 4 stars!