Sam Smith’s Barbie track ‘Man I Am’ is a campy, hilarious ode to ‘sexy, freaky’ Ken: ‘Huge bop!’

Sam Smith wearing a blue jumper as they smile. They are imposed against a pink background.

Gays and dolls, the day has finally arrived: Barbie is in cinemas. Alongside it, Barbie The Album has dropped too, and Sam Smith’s contribution “Man I Am” is a huge highlight.

Way back when director Greta Gerwig revealed that Barbie was inspired by “technicolour musicals” and “disco music”, fans knew that the accompanying soundtrack, Barbie The Album, would absolutely slap.

When fans learnt that the record would be produced by Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus collaborator Mark Ronson and would feature the likes of Lizzo and Billie Eilish, that anticipation sky-rocketed. Even the OG Ken, Ryan Gosling, gets a track, aptly titled: “I’m Just Ken”.

Dua Lipa kicked off the house party at Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse with her sparkly pop banger “Dance The Night”. Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice turned up the heat with their Aqua-sampling rap number “Barbie World”.

Now that the full album has finally been lifted out of Barbieland and launched in the Real World, fans have had their very first listen to Sam Smith’s Barbie bop “Man I Am”.

When the “Unholy” hitmaker first announced their involvement with the soundtrack earlier this month, critics took aim at Smith for daring to release a song entitled “Man I Am” while identifying as non-binary and using they/them pronouns.

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Considering the song is for the Barbie soundtrack, though, a crumb of critical thinking would indicate that Smith is singing the song from the perspective of our favourite bleach blonde himbo, Ken.

It’s a super silly, occasionally hilarious, and borderline homoerotic nod to Ken as the sexiest toy in the toybox, with the opening line declaring: “This one is for the boys, with your greased up and heavy metal toys.”

Plus, there’s a few sly jabs at Ken as an archetypal representation of masculinity, with mentions of six packs, office bros, strip clubs and dirty cars.

The best line, though? When Smith makes a cheeky reference to the perpetual rumours that our Ken is as queer as they come.

“See, I’m the groove catcher, hottest thing, six pack and tight G-string – no, I’m not gay, bro,” goes the pre-chorus.

Smith was one of the last artists to be announced for the Barbie soundtrack, and their appearance on the album was teased as a surprise. Some fans were disappointed when it was revealed that the mystery final artist wasn’t Britney Spears or Beyoncé, though Sam Smith’s campy, thumping pop anthem seems to have changed their minds.

“Not Sam Smith giving us the best song on the Barbie soundtrack,” one fan shared on social media, while another gushed: “Ok Sam Smith ate this song up! A bop!”

“Didn’t expect Sam Smith to go that hard on the Barbie soundtrack but I am actually impressed,” said a third.

Gushing about being involved with Barbie The Album, Smith wrote on Instagram: “I cannot begin to express how incredibly excited I am to be a part of the soundtrack to this already iconic film. 

“I was invited by the incredible Mark Ronson and Greta Gerwig to write a song from the perspective of Ken for one of the scenes and we honestly had so much fun with this.”

“Man I Am” and Barbie The Album are out now.

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