I was looking back through our previous reviews and I recently realized that we’ve never reviewed a Sam Smith track. This is neither good nor bad, but interesting given his almost ubiquitous usage in electronic music in the last year and a half. So I suppose this is as good a time as any, especially since POMO threw out this disgustingly good remix 4 weeks ago. So those of you who scoff at the idea of someone as “mainstream” as Sam Smith on CasaSwoop, check yo’ self. Let’s start with Sam Smith’s original, although to be fair there’s really not much to say from a remixing perspective since it’s a pretty simple track (simple does not mean bad, just simple). It listens like an Alicia Keys R&B slow jam, but there’s something decidedly different about it. Here are the facts: there are only 3 real elements in this track, piano, drums, and vocals. But when you have a voice like Sam Smith’s you really don’t need much more, and by god does he let it rip on this one. What this original does so well, and what is mirrored in the remix, is the ebb and flow of both element complexity and rhythm. The original travels from a portion of single vocal, 2 piano chords per measure, and simple cymbal 1-2-3-4 beat into a tremendously complex portion of layered 4 part vocals, much fuller piano chords, and a slightly more complex percussion. That’s all I really need to say about the original, just listen, it’s worth it. On to Canadian producer, POMO’s, interpretation of Sam Smith’s ballad-like track. Right off the bat, we have a considerably more complex percussion and a fantastically funky synth line that turns the whole vibe of the original vocal into a sort of disco-inspired hook. All of this is fairly standard dance rhythm and some interesting synth decisions, but where this track really gets its oomph is at the 2:25 mark where the whole rhythm drops to half time and this wonderfully delicate upper piano line just twinkles over the intensity of the rapid cymbals and complex synth. Sam Smith employs a similar tactic in his own track, though with less elegance. What ends up emerging is a remarkably thoughtful piece of remixing that obviously is in close dialogue with the original and dedicated to maintaining those elements that make the original so powerful.