Blondini wrote: Not since Robbie has a teen idol made as good a facsimile of retro rock.
I couldn't agree more on that "facsimile of retro rock" term. Sign of the Times is so old-fashioned in its composition - I mean, the melody is very simple, but you feel like it's actually going somewhere in the end, unlike many other chart hits these days.
It also feels like it's pushing all the right buttons to move you, everything being so perfectly placed to bring everything to a perfect crescendo, especially that vacuum sound
at 0:08 that appears several times up to its final placing at 5:11 - which pushes the song to an orgasmic, climactic end.
I didn't know who he was when I first heard the song, but it's a shame if he's being snubbed because of his past. Though that hardly comes as a surprise.