Before Sam Smith starts dominating the airwaves with his confirmed next single, Ricky‘s version of “Lay Me Down” from The Voice took audiences by storm; the gorgeous rendition of the song was recently performed for millions of people over on the hit TV show. Ricky Manning of Team Pharell, and later on Team Gwen Stefani, proved how technically gifted a singer he is when he belted out Sam Smith’s complex notes when he performed the song. Armed with ample amount of emotion and abundance of charm, Ricky Manning did the song justice and even made it his own. Sam Smith has an extremely great performance, but, surely, Ricky Manning did not lag behind.
Vocally, it has already proven that Ricky Manning has the potential to make it big in the industry, and he satisfies the depth of emotions required for “Lay Me Down” to be successful. The playful tease that the song undertones is also capitalized by Ricky for his performance to be noteworthy. Sam Smith really is hard to beat, but Ricky embellished in his own version so that he came close to the bar set by the “I’m Not the Only One” singer. In one part, the vocal approach used by Manning made the song totally about passionate yearning for someone. When he sang “Your touch, your skin / where do I begin,” it really shows how much longing there is in the song. The vocal emphasis on the line “where do I begin” signifies that listeners would be brought to a rollercoaster of emotions as the song progresses.
The real challenge in this track lies in the delivery. In Manning’s performance, he was able to sing with so much gusto that he completely captivated the hearts and minds of the listeners, even after the song ended. It was a good call on Manning’s part that he did not imitate what Sam Smith did with the song note by note. Instead, he sang an original arrangement where his specific strengths as a musical artist were highlighted. Even the falsetto notes were masterfully executed and did not serve as a distraction at all.
When Sam Smith officially releases “Lay Me Down,” you would think that Ricky’s cover might be overshadowed, but I think that the version from The Voice is far from forgettable. It is just a reminder of the already urgent call for Ricky Manning to release an album now.