Sam Smith has reemerged with a new album, and with it comes yet another accusation that the British singer has dunked on compatriots Radiohead.
The The Thrill Of It All belter has been called out by a squadron of music publications and fans of experimental alt-rock royalty for his new track Midnight Train. They claim the four-and-a-half minute jam is built on a guitar line that bears significant similarities to Radiohead’s breakout hit Creep.
Here are the two tracks, back to back:
Since Chris DeVille of Stereogum first pointed out Midnight Train “has the same rhythm, the same basic chord structure, the same verse-to-chorus dynamics, and even a similar tremolo-laden guitar pattern” as the 1993 corker, fans have been pointing out the likeness.
what’s worse than a cold winter’s day, hearing Sam Smith rip off Radiohead’s creep
— Adithya Kumar (@sputnik_92) November 6, 2017
Ok, so it seems that Sam Smith covered Radiohead’s Creep on his new LP. Just listen to Midnight Train. Nice rendition.
— Maciek Smółka (@macieksmolka) November 3, 2017
While the new track lacks Jonny Greenwood’s iconic abrasive guitar stabs, the same fluttering tremolo effect can also be heard in some of Radiohead’s other work:
Other fans have pointed out that Radiohead doesn’t exactly have the sturdiest claim to full Creep’s originality.
A discussion about the track on the band’s subreddit has elicited a shrug, and a reminder that Radiohead were successfully sued by The Hollies songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood for a Creep song-writing credit.
by u/nospamallowed from discussion Hear The New Sam Smith Song That Rips Off Radiohead
Smith hasn’t commented on the apparent likeness. Considering his prior dealings with the band, it’s highly unlikely he will.
The 25-year-old, who won a Golden Globe in 2016 for his work on Spectre theme song Writing’s On The Wall, inadvertently dissed Radiohead for their shelved attempt at a James Bond theme song.
Asked what he thought about Radiohead’s Spectre, Smith appeared not to know of the band’s frontman Thom Yorke, let alone the fact Radiohead actually offered a track for the blockbuster.
While you come to terms with the fact these two musical powerhouses appear to have some weird kind of quasi-beef, we recommend you watch this fan-edit of the Spectre intro to imagine what could have been: