Following the grand success of his debut album In The Lonely Hour, Sam Smith further proved his greatness in Contemporary RnB in his sophomore album The Thrill Of It All.
3 years of waiting were not in vain. The records depict a sensitive vulnerability with laced lyrics inspired by heartbreaks, bound to evoke empathy from the listening audience. The crooner is an old soul with his vocal runs doling out feelings in the dozens. His ballads are built around mournful piano melodies and the injunction of choirs and hand-claps deeming it more soulful.
The album is in overall dark and gut wrenching, while arguably putting him in standing to be one of the most expressive vocalists of his generation. His gospel and pop fusion is remarkable. Plus his vocal dynamic range that is unusual in today’s pop sets him apart. The rich low and spooky high notes with fluidity that has become his signature, is almost supernatural.
My notable favorites are;
Pray – Hands down my best single off the album. A gospel hymn expressing self-doubt. The beat by the legendary Timbaland builds and swells as Smith’s need grows greater. ‘I’ve never believed in you, no/ But I’m gonna pray,’ he belts at the climax, and even the atheist could relate. Because ‘Everyone prays in the end’. The laced RnB tinge is effective in giving you something memorable.
HIM – This is one for the LGBTQ community. Sam seems more comfortable in his skin as he tries to reconcile his Catholic upbringing and his homosexual nature. ‘Don’t you try and tell me that God doesn’t care for us / It is him I love,’ he sings proudly. It remains very thought provoking.
Too Good At Goodbyes – his first single is a soaring anthem with the presence of infectious finger snaps. His whispering tenor sweeps to a towering falsetto. It depicts pulling away from a volatile relationship, ‘But every time you hurt me, the less that I cry, and every time you leave me, the quicker these tears dry’
Full Tack listing is as below
- Too Good At Goodbyes
- Say It First
- One Last Song
- Midnight Train
- Baby, You Make Me Crazy
- No Peace (feat. YEBBA)
- Nothing Left For You
- The Thrill Of It All
- One Day At A Time
Overall Rating – 7/10