Sam Smith is back from getting hot at the body shop and they’ve called in back-up. In the first verse of their new single, “Vulgar,” Smith says (because it’s really more says than sings on this song), “All black in stripper heels, move like Madonna.” It’s a dance-inspired track about having a bad-bitch attitude and feeling your oats, so Madonna is the perfect point of comparison.
But on the next verse, Madonna herself taps in and says, “If you fuck with Sam tonight, you’re fucking with me.” This actually deflates much of Smith’s verse-one ‘tude. Suddenly, the song isn’t a sensual “fuck the haters” empowerment anthem for Smith. It’s Lydia Tár confronting her daughter’s bully in the schoolyard, saying, “I’m Petra’s father.” If anything, it’s not vulgar; it’s wholesome! Either way, trust by the end of the summer that the slinky Bollywood violin hook from this song will have worked its way into your ears for life.