Decoding Unholy’s Unholyness

Author: Earl Spring
Country: UK
Date: November 26, 2022
Category: Anglo-Sphere (CANZUK)
Song: Unholy by Sam Smith and Petras

“Unholy” is the latest hit from Smith’s upcoming album Gloria. It has resonated with listeners all over the world, who relate to the song’s message of acceptance and tolerance; and risen in popular music charts in 61 markets, ranking #1 in 13 countries this past month!

In recent interviews, Sam Smith spoken candidly about his experience as a gay man and as an advocate for LGBTQ rights. He also spoke out against discrimination and bigotry.

Unholy by Sam Smith is in many ways a reaction to this experience. The song is a haunting ballad that explores the dark side of love and relationships. The lyrics are emotive and reflective, voicing pain from loving someone who isn’t good for you. The song highlights how easy it is to get caught up in a toxic relationship, even when you know it’s not good for you. If you’ve ever been in a situation like this, then this song will resonate with you deeply.

It was published on September 22 of this year. The album, Gloria, is scheduled to be released in 2023. Kim Petras, a musician from Germany, contributed to song. Petras together with Sam Smith, have broken new ground by being the first trans and nonbinary musicians to have a collaborative effort reach the top of the charts – globally!

The song was first featured on TikTok in August, which established a strong demand before it’s formal release. It then reached the Billboard top three almost immediately after its release in over 20 markets including both Sam and Petras’s home markets in the UK and Germany. 

Unholy Video

At the beginning of the music video, a husband is seen dropping off his wife at an event while simultaneously providing an explanation for his absence from the occasion. The jacket that her husband had wrapped her in before leaving contains a condom with the name ‘The Body Shop’ written on it. The wife discovers it.

After that, the audience follows the Husband to the ‘Body Shop’, and there, we are introduced to Smith as the oblivious bystander who walks us through the Husband’s activities at the Body Shop.

Unholy Lyric

The song’s first verse features an intriguing dynamic from Sam Smith. They discuss about a girl who is happily married to a nice boy and enjoying her relationship. She is a lucky girl, and he is a lucky guy, in everyone’s eyes. But this boy is hiding something.

When he is not with his lovely wife, this lad hides in sinful places. Sam Smith is aware that this youngster interacts with like-minded others in these groups and that many of them view him in a nasty, terrible light.

When he returns to his wife, he will have “cleaned up” very nicely for her. However, when it is dark, he engages in all manner of unholy behavior. If his wife were to find out about this side of him, it would undoubtedly lead to the end of their marriage. However, the young man makes an effort to keep up appearances for the benefit of others.

Sam Smith speculates throughout the song’s hook about the ways in which the subject of the song is leading a double life. He is being very careful to conceal it from both his partner and their children. It is obvious that this guy is drawn to the flame like a moth gets drawn to a candle. But in today’s world, the moth will only burn because he is too coward to look at himself in the mirror and face the truth about who he is?

In the middle of the second stanza, Kim Petras makes her entrance into the song. In this tale, she plays the part of the protagonist, the lucky girl. She discusses a number of high-end fashion labels, including Miu Miu, Fendi, Balenciaga, and Prada, among others.

 “I think joy for me, and for a lot of queer people, is quite a dangerous place. We’re all masters of pain, and I think it’s … courageous to step into the queer joy of it all.”

These songs express exactly how I feel about this issue. Kim Petras sings that this boy will come to her whenever he “wants” to get dirty when she becomes dirty.

However, when this boy “needs” it, he will sneak out to the body shop, which is a place where he can really let loose and be himself. This reveals the boy’s actual propensity, which we were looking for. In order to avoid the scorn of society, he is forced to maintain appearances that are perceived as being “cleaner.”

The legendary pop team shared a little clip of them grooving out in the car on the website around a month before the song was officially released on September 22nd. Those few seconds alone had garnered 193 million views by the time the music was officially made available.

The song is seductive and menacing, and it is nothing at all like what Smith’s fans have come to expect from the band based on their most recent album (“Love Goes,” which was full of gloomy piano ballads and heartbreak anthems) and their other single (“Love Me More,” which was about overcoming the pains of self-hatred and profound sorrow) from 2022. According to what Smith said to Entertainment Tonight, “Unholy” signals the beginning of their “villain age” because it comes completely out of left field. In addition to this, sweetie, it was “time to get sexy.”

On the other side, the German pop artist Kim Petras believes that her song “Unholy” comes awfully close to hitting the target. Her album “Slut Pop,” which was released in 2022, includes the songs “XXX” and “Throat Goat,” both of which are very much a part of this sexy club age. The sounds of Smith and Petras complement each other remarkably well despite the vast gap that exists between the genres that they each belong to; Smith’s somber power is contrasted with Petra’s femme fatale.

Lyrically, “Unholy” describes the adultery committed by a husband who frequently visits “The Body Shop,” also known as the notorious Los Angeles strip club. “Mummy” is the only person who is unaware of his wrongdoings; the rest of his family and friends are “whispering’ ’bout the places that you’ve been / And how you don’t know how to keep your business clean.” The lyrics also seem to imply, albeit in a roundabout way, that one of the children of said husband is the one who is actually singing about the extramarital affair: “Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot” and “She’d kick you out if she ever, ever knew about all the shit you tell me that you do.” The sexy narrative that Smith sets up is derailed by this point of view, but it makes it more dynamic in terms of how they are telling the story. It’s possible that there are more levels of cynicism here than initially meets the eye.

The structure of the music, which consists of intense bass drums, a beat that is intense, and ethereal background vocals that ring like pipe organs, is a beautiful complement to the dark undertones that are present in the song. This eerie cathedral effect, when combined with a minor chord progression from the Middle East, gives the track such a weighty and full-bodied sound that the listener is enchanted and compelled to hit the play button again and again. It should come as no surprise that “Unholy” managed to become a TikTok phenomenon before it was even made available to the public because the production is so eerie and mesmerizing.

Decoding the Unholy-ness 

The Body Shop shown in the video is – in fact – a strip club that is hidden inside of a garage and is only accessible to people who have deep pockets. The Body Shop is known for providing its male clients, such as the Husband, with the opportunity to engage in sexual encounters with female employees in exchange for monetary compensation. He sings:

‘Mummy don’t know Daddy’s getting hot At the Bodyshop Doing something unholy.’

It has become a sexual desire to refer to the husband as Daddy and the wife as Mummy. But if I ask, what exactly is so appealing about Mummy being in the dark? Why should we celebrate actions that, if Mummy learns the truth, will cause her to be utterly devastated?

It is one thing to engage in non-monogamy without coercion, but there is nothing appealing about cheating on a partner. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to celebrate the behavior by devoting an entire song to it.

Pertas makes his/her entrance in the second stanza, which reads as follows:

‘Mm, daddy, daddy, if you want it, drop the addy (Yeah, yeah)

Give me love, give me Fendi, my Balenciaga daddy

You gon’ need to bag it up ’cause I’m spendin’ on Rodeo (Woo)

You can watch me back it up, I’ll be gone in the A.M. (Yeah)

And he, he get me Prada, get me Miu Miu like Rihanna (Ah)

He always call me ’cause I never cause no drama

And when you want it, baby, I know I got you covered

And when you need it, baby, just jump under the covers (Yeah)’

Petras’s verse sheds any doubts about the song fetishizing a Sugar Daddy. 

It is OK for individuals to be interested in a variety of fetishes. The fetishization of ‘Daddy issues,’ on the other hand, is disrespectful to people who have been hurt by their fathers in the past. It is disheartening to learn that fathers who are absent from their daughters’ lives or who are inconsiderate to their needs have been successful in traumatizing their daughters to the point where there is a vocabulary dedicated to describing such suffering. 

In addition to this disheartening realization, people who are working on their healing may also come to the numbing realization that their traumatic experiences are a turn-on in the bedroom for their sexual partners. Petras then goes on to glorify the archetype of the ‘gold-digging’ woman, who is accused of being a woman who needs men to buy them things and is referred to as a Sugar Daddy.

If one were to take a step back from the unholiness of the situation and travel back in time, they might come to the conclusion that society encouraged women to marry wealthy men as a lucrative career option because the number of career opportunities available to women in the past was insufficient. 

This was due to the fact that society made an insufficient number of career opportunities available to women. Many times, women have been given the blame for obediently pursuing this lucrative career option, despite the fact that they have never been the ones to come up with the idea. In the 21st century, “we run the world girls!” or at least we try to do so when the decenters of patriarchy are occasionally sent back to Azkaban.

It is possible to blame the verse written by Petras, which contrasts an unavailable lover who does not create any drama and is gone by the morning with an available wife who creates drama by making emotional demands, which in turn causes drama and magically manifests an unfaithful husband as a result. 

The old patriarchal practice of pitting women against each other gives the impression that women are irrational, materialistic beings who will do everything to obtain a male in order to satisfy their physiological wants. In addition, the fundamental concept that in order to be sexually desirable one needs to be emotionally unavailable is a portrayal of sexual intimacy that is quite superficial.

The infectious second part of the chorus sung by Smith is as follows:

‘He’s sat back while she’s droppin’ it

She be poppin’ it

Yeah, she put it down slowly

Oh-ee-oh-ee-oh, he left his kids at

Ho-ee-oh-ee-ome so he can get that’

The film strips women of any agency other than the sexual agency that exists solely to gratify the masculine gaze of Daddy. This leaves women without any agency at all. Therefore, it appears that she is the one exerting all of the effort for his sexual pleasure while he simply relaxes and takes it all in.

The depiction of men claiming sexual pleasure without making any effort to return that pleasure to their female partners is a practice that has become archaic and is reflected in the picture that has been painted above. While he relaxes and takes it easy, he plays the role of an absentee father who cheated on his wife and is praised as a charming cad in the song. While he does this, he gets lauded as a charming cad.

In spite of the fact that Smith and Petras spend a humorous two whole minutes dressing up infidelity culture and casual misogyny, the audience has not yet been able to catch the elusive minute in which the “lucky girl” rejects the damsel in distress narrative and takes charge of it. Perhaps there is cause for optimism regarding the future.

If you are familiar with the pop artist Sam Smith, then you are aware that the majority of his songs are melancholy piano ballads that are about his previous relationships with men. However, not in this instance. His newest single, “unholy,” which features German singer Kim Petras, is a complete departure from his previous work.

Smith presents his audience with a new level of sexual deviance with the release of this single, which includes a song with Arabic undertones that focuses on a husband and his unrepentant promiscuity against his wife. Smith begins the song with a chorus singing about a man whose wife is unaware that her husband frequently visits a body shop where he is engaging in unholy activity. “Mummy don’t know Daddy’s getting hot/At the body shop/Doing something unholy,” the choir sings.

It would appear that this wife is unaware of the flagrant infidelity that her husband has been engaging in (“She’d toss you out if she ever knew/bout all the s*** you tell me that you do and how you don’t know how to keep your business clean?”). And it would appear that this is not a one-off occurrence. This man and prostitute have an arrangement in which he pays for sexual services with narcotics (“drop the addy”) and luxury stuff (“Give me love, give me Fendi, my Balenciaga daddy”). “And when you need it, darling, just jump under the covers.”

“Oh, he left his kids at home so he can obtain it,” is a line that describes the man’s lifestyle, which he pursues with great zeal and even goes so far as to abandon his children in order to fulfill his insatiable cravings. The n-word and references to drugs are bleeped out multiple times over the course of the song.

We have heard a lot of music in our lives, but this is repugnant on a whole new level. We are relieved that the music video for this single has not yet been published, but if it ever does, we are concerned that it will contain even more explicit content than the X-rated song itself does.  In an interview with Capital FM, Smith stated that the initial version of “unholy” was much filthier than the final product, which included a few uncensored swear words, and that he actually toned down his lyrics in order to make them “presentable” for his audience. Smith was speaking about the song.

To tell you the truth, that is a little bit alarming. On the other hand, we suppose that this is the point. It would appear that Smith was going for the shock value with this one. Not only does this song have a sleazy vibe to it thanks to the sensual undertones, but the lyrics themselves are pornographic. This is not a song that you can play on the radio without having to worry about hearing inappropriate content in the background. It’s one of those songs that makes your skin crawl as you listen to the celebratory tone used to praise a man for lying to his wife, ignoring his children, and going to see a prostitute whenever he pleases. This is one of those songs.

“Unholy” is a hot and heavy single with a lukewarm reception

Sam Smith released the full version of their latest single “Unholy” on September 22, 2022, and it has left many people wondering, “wait, was that it?” after teasing the world on TikTok for weeks with snippets of their latest single “Unholy.” 

Many people on the internet have the impression that they were cheated out of a massive hit because the R&B electro-pop fusion song that has been playing nonstop on us for Your pages for the past few weeks did not live up to their expectations. Some people criticize Smith for the song’s poor attributes, while others blame Smith’s producers for failing to ride the wave of success that TikTok was experiencing at the time. Is it accurate to criticize “Unholy,” or should we instead celebrate its achievements?

The reverberating voices of a choir can be heard at the beginning of the song, chanting: “Mummy doesn’t know daddy’s getting hot at the body shop doing something unholy.” Although Smith is known for making soulful music, in this song they explore the darker side of the soul, which is one that has been tainted by lies, adultery, and unbridled lust. Smith starts singing the first stanza as a series of electronic beats and muffled murmurs are played in the background. 

In this scenario, they take on the part of the husband’s secret keeper, the sneaky collaborator who is complicit in the adulterer’s immoral crime. They caution this womanizer about the dangerous game he is playing and the potential outcomes, which include the following: “She’d toss you out if she ever, ever knew about all the **** you tell me that you do,” the song says. “Bout all the **** you tell me that you do.” Because of Smith’s silky and seductive vocals, we are all given the impression that we are the slick devil perched on the cheater’s shoulder. The chorus begins with a descending vocal run performed by Smith on the final line of the first verse. At this point, we are immersed in the seedy, backstreet world in which the spouse secretly participates. 

Smith is joined by the chorus in order to sing out the focus lines once more, all the while the spouse is getting steamy with someone else behind the scenes. To set the record straight, when the husband makes reference to going to the “Body Shop,” he is not implying that he is trying to woo the local auto mechanic. Rather, the “Body Shop” is a slang term for a place where one can pay for the services of a sex worker, and it is clear that the husband is participating in this activity. There is a very clear explanation for why this chorus was so popular: it is a shining example of how to combine musical storytelling with feelings. 

The chorus features synthesized instrumentals and minor chords, which work together to produce a lovely tension. This tension adds to the sensation that one is enjoying something that they shouldn’t, which is a reflection of the husband’s narrative about his indulgence. It seems to have been taken directly from a scene in an action movie, where the main character negotiates a shady business deal with a leader of an underground criminal organization. You despise the fact that the hero compromises their principles in favor of an expedient and simple solution, but at the same time, you can’t help but feel as though you’re reveling in the guilty pleasure as well.

When Kim Petras takes over singing the song in the second verse, there is a significant shift in the perspective that is being presented. Petras has built a reputation for writing music that brazenly displays her unabashed sexual allure, and “Unholy” is not an exception to this rule. Petras plays the part of the husband’s “sugar baby,” or the woman he sees when he is away from home in this scenario. Her voice, which has been electrolyzed, provides a striking contrast to Smith’s as she savors all of the luxury that has been bestowed upon her: “Give me love, give me Fendi, my Balenciaga daddy.”

Ignoring context, “Unholy” is a fantastic song overall, boasting both an entrancing chorus and an intriguing storyline. Although there is nothing particularly noteworthy or show-stealing about it, it is unquestionably deserving of your attention. However, the social climate at the time of the song’s release may have played a role in the song’s mixed reception.

One valid criticism that can be leveled at the song is that it is too brief. We reach the conclusion of the song rather quickly, as it only lasts about two minutes and fifty seconds in total. The fact that the chorus is repeated twice throughout the song contributes to the overall sense of brevity. 

Furthermore, the addition of Petras to the track is jarring; the direct manner in which she delivers her lines detracts from the emotional depth that Smith works hard to create. The sinful tone of Smith’s verse is ruined as a result of Petras’ boastful provocations, to put it another way. The inclusion of Petras on the track has also been viewed as somewhat controversial due to her ambiguous statements of support for record producer Dr. Luke. 

Luke has been accused of engaging in abusive practices with a number of different artists. Because of this controversy, her reputation in the public eye has suffered, and as a result, some people have become disinterested in the song as a whole.

The fact that “Unholy” was created just for TikTok is probably the most significant criticism leveled against it. The dramatic chorus fits in perfectly with the short form content that TikTok is known for, making it an ideal choice for both thirst traps and dance videos. When it first started trending as a soundbite back in the beginning of September, it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise that this particular part received a lot of appreciation from people. After several weeks of waiting, the full song was finally released, however the only modifications that were made were…two decent lines. 

This resulted in tremendous levels of anticipation for the full release. Simply put, the TikTok preview set extremely high standards for the complete song, which it was impossible for the song to live up to. This is a classic example of the trailer ruining the entire movie.

Many amateur music critics on Twitter love to claim that “TikTok is ruining the music industry,” and dissatisfied fans are quick to blame artists and producers for dropping the ball when a song doesn’t live up to its TikTok notoriety. In addition, many dissatisfied fans are quick to blame artists and producers for dropping the ball. 

Even if the app has unquestionably altered the standards for what rises to the top of the popularity rankings, it is not accurate to label every song that has a few catchy lines as “crafted for TikTok.” After all, there are a great number of older songs that continue to be popular today (for examples, see “Running up that Hill” or “September”). 

In point of fact, the issue is that TikTok raises the expectation that every song should have nothing but its highest highs, so reducing its popular songs to only their best bits. Songs that are able to find a balance between the highs and the lows are ones that are worth adding to your playlists. However, in order to fully enjoy the highs, you must first listen through the lows. It would be incorrect to characterize this as a catastrophic failure, even though I’m not entirely confident that “Unholy” has successfully struck that balance.

The Meaning of Sam Smith’s TikTok Hit “Unholy”

Because of the lightning-fast rate at which songs utilized on the site are catapulted to viral stardom, it nearly has the appearance of TikTok rapidly becoming an extension of the Billboard Top 100.Sam Smith’s “Unholy,” which features Kim Petras, is the most recent song to become popular on the app. 

The song quickly became extremely popular on the platform after Sam uploaded a small sample of it there. People are interested in learning more. What exactly does this infectiously catchy new song mean? Here is the information that you require.

After Sam and his collaborator Kim Petras teased the song for the first time in August 2022, it has since begun to surface on TikTok. The song is titled “Unholy.” Overnight, the video received millions of views, and fans immediately began uploading their own covers of the song, which they then stitched together with the original. 

As a result of the “narrative” that is told in the song’s lyrics, a number of fans have taken to choreographed dancing to the tune, while others have taken to performing the song’s lyrics in real life. The subject matter of the song is a marriage in which the husband is having an affair with another woman. It is said that the act of cheating is “something unclean,” and this is especially true when considering the fact that the wife is unaware of the affair. 

There have been whispers about his extramarital affair, but he has managed to keep his wife in the dark about it. Kim Petras gives her voice to the character “the other lady” in the song, who views the spouse as nothing more than a sugar daddy.

Before the song was made public, Sam gave an interview to Entertainment Tonight in which he commented, “It’s wonderful. It is quite thrilling, and because the only part of the song that has been released thus far is the chorus, I can’t wait for you to hear the rest of it. It’s a crazy song, for sure. It’s a musical theater production condensed into one song, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it.”

The narrator of the song, which is performed by Sam Smith, is an objective third party who is appalled by the “cheating husband” character. The words in the lyrics are: “She’d throw you out if she ever, ever knew about all the s–t you tell me that you do, but happy, lucky girl, she got married to a boy like you. She’d kick you out if she ever, ever knew. 

I hear them whispering about the places that you’ve been and how you don’t know how to keep your business clean. “Dirty, dirty boy, you know everyone is talking on the scene. I hear them whisperin’ about the places that you’ve been.”

Some fans are not happy with the full-length version of “Unholy.” 

In August of 2022, shortly after the song’s initial publication online, Sam and Kim received an overwhelming number of positive comments regarding the song. On the other hand, the full song was not made available to fans for almost two months after it was first promoted excessively on TikTok and other social media platforms. After this period of time, many fans claimed they were “over” the song.

In the discussion thread for Sam Smith’s new single “Tiktok,” one user stated, “Now that everyone has played it out… This drop was way too delayed.” Another user chimed in and said, “Yeah… The chorus is the best part, so there wasn’t really anything to wait for.” A third user made the following comment: “Am I the only one who felt like something was missing from the experience? After such a long time, it turned out to be only two minutes long and, to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t really all that catchy.”

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