Track Review: Nathan Sykes, ‘Famous’
Former boy bander Nathan Sykes shows off mad chops on “Famous,” a standout single from his debut album, ‘Unfinished Business.’
In 2012, The Wanted had their fifteen minutes of fame. “Glad You Came” was a mega-hit, not to mention the irresistible dirty joke its title alone incited. Like so many boy bands, The Wanted faded and eventually disbanded. Nathan Sykes, the band’s youngest member, moves beyond The Wanted to release his debut solo album, Unfinished Business. Ahead of the album, due November 4, 2016, Sykes released six songs, including single “Famous.”
“Famous” is set in 6/8, naturally giving the record a lilting feel. The meter is clearly established up front by guitar accompaniment. The song itself is incredibly bluesy and soulful. Clearly, Sykes and team had throwback, vintage soul in mind. Vocally, Sykes proves himself as a legit artist, showcasing both smoothness and grit.
Thematically, the song tackles the topic of authentic, genuine love. Often, those with status struggle with finding relationships that aren’t motivated by money. Here, Sykes suggests she’ll be into him when he becomes famous. He sums this up superbly on the chorus:
“But will you call me when I’m famous / when I’m famous / would you call my name? / will you call me when I’m famous / when I’m famous / will you call my name? / when I’m famous.”
By the end of “Famous,” Sykes truly lets his dynamic voice shine. His ad libs are beautiful and chilling.
Ultimately, “Famous” is an excellent single through and through. Vocally, Sykes is on fire, pulling back when he needs to and pushing when the time is right to do so. He kills it by the ending.