ALBUM REVIEW: Sam Smith – The Thrill Of It All
Sam Smith’s debut album “In The Lonely Hour” will always be one of those unforgettable records that will forever make people cry as much as Adele’s “21” and that’s a beautiful thing. His second studio album “The Thrill Of It All” was always going to be heavily examined under the microscope and sadly it just doesn’t live up to the hype it’s predecessor set. This record is incredibly sad but his voice was made for sadness. He has this captivating way of breaking your heart and putting it back together again. He will also make you feel heartbroken and angry at your ex even if you don’t have a ex. His storytelling is so compelling and that is the records strong point. However where it falls flat is the delivery. Melodically the songs are all the same. He doesn’t grow or evolve as an artist from the last record and is just stuck regurgitating the same harmonies and emotions. I was waiting for more massive moments of empowerment but they never really came. Don’t get me wrong there are some strong tracks that will have you feeling all emotional but it’s not the same level groundbreaking soul-pop his debut cemented. Lead single “Too Good At Goodbyes” is a slow burner that eventually grows on you while “Pray” is instantly likeable with its strong gospel influence and production experimentation. He introduces a doo-woop sound on “One Last Song” and delivers a beautiful simple ballad with title track “The Thrill Of It All”. But the songs that stand out the most are the most vulnerable and emotional tracks. “Midnight Train” is a heartbreaking song about having to break up with someone and you can hear the pain and reflection in his voice with every lyric. “Him” is a coming out anthem where he reflects on trying to make his disapproving father and GOD understand that he can’t change who he is. It’s a very beautiful and important song that deserves all the attention and love. But the song that stood out to me the most was the captivating “Say It First”. The emotional ballad is about a unrequited love where all he wants is the other person to reciprocate the feelings that he has. It’s very emotionally raw and is delivered incredibly well. “I know you’re right for me but I’m waiting for everything in your world to align with my world. I think of you while I sleep. I dream of what we could be if we grow, together unfold”. However the rest of the album is a bit of a snooze fest and regurgitates the same harmonies and production that you’ve already heard making it all very predictable. But his vocals make this album worth the listen. The raw emotions pour through his vocal delivery making some of these average songs worth having on in the background.