Sam Smith, a British singer best known for his breakthrough single "Stay With Me," covered Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" and managed to make it sound like all of his other songs, basically: breathy, overly-emotional, and pretty boring.
Smith has managed to swing three hit singles, including "Stay with Me," by creating songs that are overly-sentimental and childish in their approach to love with lyrics like "Cause it's true I'm not good at a one night stand" tremulously warbled over a crescendoing piano background.
With his Adele-wannabe voice, Smith tries to place himself in Chapman's shoes, but those shoes are too big for him to fill. Chapman won the Grammy for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Fast Car," a song she wrote about generational poverty and growing up as a black woman in America. Smith's approach shows he simply lacks the depth to pull off this song.
He's no Adele, and now we know he's no Tracy Chapman either.