We’ve all been there: using a person to get over and/or make someone else jealous. We just don’t all write sultry songs about it, which is exactly what Sam Smith and Normani do on “Dancing with a Stranger.” Smith, the male crooner of our generation, provides yet another ballad-esque song for his growing catalog, but the ’80s-leaning track does propel his artistry into much more exciting territory. Likewise, Normani continues to prove her versatility leading up to her debut album. It’s an exciting collaboration of two singers trusting each other to try something new together.
While Smith plays it relatively straight with his delivery, Normani gives some of her most delicious vocals on the track, the velvet of their voices blending beautifully highlights the longing in the lyrics. Detailing a lonely night, the duo go out on the town to prove to themselves and the object of their desires they don’t need them. Though they sound assured in their decisions (“I know exactly what I need to do/I don’t wanna be alone tonight”), the song fades out into a non-ending, telling us that our heroes aren’t entirely satisfied with their actions. It’s a feeling known all too well to them, and they sell that brand of melancholy perfectly on “Dancing with a Stranger.”
If 2018 was Normani’s breakout year, 2019 is hers for the taking.