Sam Smith Turned Tracy Chapman's 'Fast Car' Into a Very Slow Car

We usually like Sam Smith's vocals, but he manages to turn one of the great American songs into a lounge act.

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Sam Smith, he of the amazing audience reaction shots and unfortunate thoughts about gay culture, went on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge earlier this week to perform. As is custom, Smith did a cover of another artist's song – in his case, Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car."

In Smith's hands, it became a slow car.

As Entertainment Weekly put it, "the British singer turned the gentle, acoustic song into almost-lounge music." The missing end of that sentence is the phrase "and that's an awful direction for such a rich, soulful song."

There's nothing really offensive about it – other than the plinking piano in the back that sounds like an outdated Casio, but that's not Smith's fault – but it's a really rough treatment of a classic. He doesn't mangle the song's pronouns like he did with Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know," but that's about the most positive thing we can say about it.

Since we're holding our tongues, we'll let Twitter do the talking:

Ugh, it's just terrible. Quick, listen to this and feel better:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.