Ariana Grande & Stevie Wonder's "Faith" Isn't The Only Great Song By That Name — LISTEN
Two of the most hard-working musicians in the game, Ariana Grande and Stevie Wonder have recorded "Faith," a song for the Sing soundtrack, and it's available on Spotify. It is a slice of pure happiness and not just because it's the first song Stevie Wonder has recorded for a movie in 14 years. No really, it's toe-tappingly catchy, and it recalls "Uptown Funk" in its '80s retro vibes. Which is appropriate, because the song's very title recalls one of my favorite songs of that decade: George Michael's "Faith." This song poses some seriously potent competition; it is not for nothing that it became the top-selling single of 1988.
George Michael's "Faith" is my everything: that ass-grazing intro to the video, the jingly-jangly rhythm, and the fact that you physically cannot not dance to it. This said, Michael's vocal stylings pale in comparison to the lung exertions of one Ariana Grande and living legend Stevie Wonder. So really, is Wonder and Grande's "Faith" better than George Michael's "Faith"? At least one bold journalist had to explore this pressing question, and, given my obsession with Michael's single, I feel perfectly positioned to take one for the team on this topic. Who will win? The old guard or the new(ish) contenders? Please make sure you stay hydrated and take regular breaks during this all too tense battle of the hits.
Ariana Grande and Stevie Wonder's "Faith" is a very strong song. They give you enough of an intro to give you a few seconds to get to the dance floor in time. And the chorus is catchy. I feel like I'm going to be humming it for days. But there's a reason why George Michael's "Faith" sold all those copies. Michael is a master songwriter and one of the underrated talents of the '80s. As genuinely great as the new "Faith" is, it's still not as catchy as Michael's "Faith."
All three competitors are excellent vocalists. But Stevie Wonder is Stevie Wonder: there's one clear reason why he's one of the most iconic musicians of all time. Nobody can compete with his vocals. Sorry George Michael, this round goes to the 2016 "Faith."
I cannot tell a lie: neither of these songs has got Shakespeare worried about his competition. George Michael was guilty of lyrics like "I know not everybody/Has got a body like you" (bland) while Ariana Grande has to sing lines like "See the boy with the Stevie Wonder swag?" C'mon. When you're singing that to Stevie Wonder, it's a little lazy. We can hear the amazing vocals, we already are well aware Wonder is part of this song.
But, George Michael's "Faith" has a clear storyline: it's about a man who is leaving a toxic relationship even though he's still besotted with that person. He's got to have "faith" that someone better will eventually come along. Meanwhile, I've been re-reading the modern "Faith" for the past ten minutes, and I still can't tell you what it's about. Friendship between an older man and a sassy city woman? "A kind of love" — whatever that means? They've got faith in each other, but I have no idea who they are to each other. Sorry modern day faith-havers, George Michael wins again.
So, perhaps to nobody's surprise, George Michael has roundly trounced Ariana Grande and Stevie Wonder in this battle of songs titled "Faith." Still, this isn't so much about dissing Grande and Wonder's admittedly very competent track as it is about celebrating the ever-wonderful '80s "Faith." George Michael, keep dong what you're doing, please.
Images: georgemichaelVEVO/Youtube; Giphy (3)