Tomorrow Never Dies by Sheryl Crow is the theme song to the James Bond film that carries the same name. The song was written by Sheryl Crow and Mitchell Froom, who also produced the song, and was released in 1997.
Even though the song received negative reviews from different critics, I enjoy the song to this day. By the time the song was released, Sheryl Crow was rather known for her more folk-pop style. Tomorrow Never Dies gave her a platform to push herself outside her comfort zone, while staying true to her musical ambitions.
I do not disagree with Jim Farber, who wrote in Entertainment Weekly that ‘[Sheryl Crow’s] brittle voice lacks the operatic quality of the best Bond girls and boys, like Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, or even Melissa Manchester.’ However, my personal preference makes me enjoy Ms Crow’s singing much more than the above-mentioned singers. The quality of her voice lies in her melodramatic vocal performance, which radiates a great deal of pain and sorrow. The perfect foundation for a James Bond theme song.
Production-wise, there is nothing to object. The choice of instruments, arrangements, and lyrics all make sense in their constellation. The lofty, almost raw, sound of the production speaks to me and matches Ms Crow’s style. As for the lyrics, they subliminally reference the James Bond story and the chorus is, as expected, very catchy. No spectacular lyrical line, just very well functional.
Tomorrow Never Dies is one of my favourite James Bond theme songs. It sells the respective Bond-movie well, gives Sheryl Crow a good platform to prove that she can do more than only write folk-pop/rock song, and is an enjoyable and well-written tune. This does not necessarily mean that it is the best theme song in the Bond catalogue, but for people of my generation and music taste, it can definitely be found in the higher ranks.