In a music industry where heavy beats, auto-tune, and produced effects are still immensely popular, Sam Smith’s voice is incredibly authentic. Making his big time debut in 2014 with the album “In the Lonely Hour,” Smith rose to popularity very quickly. At only 25, Smith has already been nominated for and won several Grammys, including Best New Artist, and Song of the Year. Smith is known for his crooning voice and passionate songs with meaningful, relatable lyrics, and his new album is no different. The album, titled “The Thrill Of It All” was released on Nov. 3, and again offers the gospel-like choruses and raw emotions about past loves had and lost.
The album’s first single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” already has over 200 million plays on Spotify since its release on Sept. 8. The track is a heart-wrenching ballad about the cycle of relationships and how they constantly end in heartbreak. As the first song of the album, it sets the tone for the other 13 tracks, most of which are about the heartbreak in relationships and the fears of opening up to others and being vulnerable.
Tracks such as “One Last Song” and “Baby, You Make Me” offer an upbeat sound and include choir-like background vocals for Smith to croon over, showcasing the full range of his voice. On the other hand, songs like “Midnight Train” and “Pray” are more mellow, and, as sophomore Thomas Bernard says, “perfect to play in the background of doing homework or reading a book.” The track “No Peace” features vocalist YEBBA in a intense duet about the struggles of romance.
As perhaps the focal point of the album, “Him” is Smith’s first song that directly refers to his sexuality. The song is about a conversation between Smith and “Holy Father,” and addresses Smith’s personal journey with coming out and religion. The chorus consists of Smith declaring his love for a “him” and pleading that others understand. Not only was the song most likely cathartic for Smith to write, but it is equally important to those who identify with the LGBTQ community, as representation is still scarce in the music industry.