Friday, May 8th, 2020

Sam Smith and Demi Lovato – I’m Ready

OK, whenever you’re ready


Alex Clifton: This song confounds me on a number of levels. Why do the verses sound transplanted from a Selena Gomez song while the chorus turns into something from a musical? What the hell are Sam and Demi looking for in their lovers? Sam wants “an achiever” while Demi wants “a defeater,” so I’m imagining these love interests being very good at homework and video games, neither of which sounds terrifically appetizing. The main disconnect, for me, is the fact that the song seems to be going for a sexy and uplifting vibe simultaneously, but keeps switching modes. Either give me a song about how you’re ready for your dirty sinner lover and all the naughty things you plan on doing with them or one about how you’re finally ready to love someone because you love yourself. A bit of a shame as Smith and Lovato do sound quite nice together. I will say, however, that Smith looks like they’re having the absolute time of their life in the music video, which I’m pleased to see. Just wish I could feel that same sort of enthusiasm for this song.

Scott Mildenhall: Note to future cultural historians: Eurovision 2020 did happen, and this was the UK’s entry. Where else could such a corny chorus have been crowbarred into a song so moody and swaggering? Part “Soldi”, part “A Million Voices”, and seemingly unaware of its own silliness, “I’m Ready” offers much to have fun with. The earnestness is winning.

Alfred Soto: It may have “Maneater” and “Maniac” in its bloodstream, but it also has blood poisoning. Pompous, without humor, and ambitious because it’s unsure about itself, “I’m Ready” refuses to move. Two overqualified singers can’t belt lines like “I’ve been lookin’ hard for a lover disguised as a sinner/No, not a cheater, a redeemer/He’s a cold-blooded defeater” without falling into the orchestra pit, although, presumably, the choir will help them up.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: On “I’m Ready,” Sam Smith and Demi Lovato’s attempts to communicate genuine readiness for love come across as craven, awkward, and heavy-handed. They’ve borrowed Ariana Grande’s songwriting team but are unable to replicate any of her panache. I’ve described songs as cringeworthy before, but few songs have made me actually physically cringe.

Nortey Dowuona: Super-turbo trap pop that neither flatters Sam’s whisp of a voice or Demi’s super cannon of a voice.

Michael Hong: The unpredictable: an industrial beat that works hard to not let the track slip into the mundane. The slightly predictable: Sam Smith and Demi Lovato fumbling at the handoff — a declaration of “I’m ready” shouldn’t also proceed with such a drop in momentum. The completely predictable: Smith’s penchant for a choir on the final verse lessening whatever emotional impact the song was supposed to have by drowning out both and leaving the track on the road to nowhere.

Oliver Maier: Smith rejects their promising recent dance-pop direction in favour of a paper-thin Greatest Showman cutThe flavourless Lovato is an inexplicable feature pick. I think there are also some lyrics? I’d have to double-check.

Claire Biddles: The structure of “I’m Ready” is so baffling that it’s almost avant-garde. Each time I anticipate a drop the song changes in a completely unexpected way, switching from PG-rated sci-fi R&B to sort-of trap to… a gospel chorus? This isn’t good, though — it’s just a collage of four middling songs at the same sluggish pace, giving the listener whiplash every time it threatens to lunge forward and doesn’t. Put an extremely corny beat on the chorus and this might be a [5].

Will Adams: The martial throb in the verse evokes “Ready For It,” and both Smith and Lovato sound compelling against it. Then the chorus arrives. The faux-gospel leanings aren’t terrible, but the problem with a repeated “I’m ready!” hook is that it brings less to mind an empowering mantra than it does Spongebob.

Reader average: [5] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Sam Smith and Demi Lovato – I’m Ready”

  1. On paper, this duet is brilliant, near perfect because of how much Smith and Lovatoare foils. The former croons and touches hearts with the delicate nuances of his falsetto while the latter belts and drops jaws with the flooring confidence of her upper register to become complements, filling each other’s gaps for a consummate song of sensuality and self-love. Therein lies the flaw of “I’m Ready”: its wasted potential of contrast replaced by random melisma sign-offs that are desperate to hold attention. The melody, too mid-range for either of their strong points, fails to bring out anything captivating in Smith or Lovato (if it does, the moment last for one (1) syllable, and nothing more), and by the end, the handclaps and gospel backdrop of the last chorus only magnify the truth: flair here is forced.

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