Tuesday, November 21News For London

The Thrill Of It All: Album Review

Sam Smith bares his soul in his second album The Thrill of it all following 2014’s success In The Lonely Hour and his singing debut in Disclosure’s 2012 Money On My Mind hit!

Sam is no stranger to soul, pop and even gospel so we expected nothing less from this album. It is even deeper than In The Lonely Hour and that was deep.

The album jumps right into Too good at Goodbyes which was the first single to be released from the album and its success paved the way for the upcoming album. The soul-infused track is a piano-led song with harmonious sings from a backing choir as well as Smith’s own poignant voice. It takes you to church and then back to skipping down the road when the beat kicks in.

Some may say Sam’s typical format of a song includes a choir and a string quartet but it has given us hits and if it works for him, it definitely works for us! And this is what Pray did. His third single release from the album, with the help of Timbaland on the slow and seductive production, the song is a deep and dark song that will leave you nonetheless in awe. With lyrics such as: “I’m down on my knees/ I’m beggin’ you please / I’m broken, alone, and afraid” – his vulnerability and weakness shows through this song which makes it more relatable.

He explained to Billboard that “Pray” was prompted by time spent in Iraq with the charity War Child, saying: “I spent five days in Mosul and came back embarrassed that I had known so little about the world and other people’s lives. I went back to that great Nina Simone quote, that it is important to speak about the times you live in. I hadn’t done that; I’d just written a bunch of songs about love. So I wanted to write about how I’m now starting to open my eyes, at 25, to what is going on in the rest of the world, and that it’s not always pretty.”

Speaking to Zane Lowe, on Beats 1, Sam admitted that the theme of this album will be how single he is. “I’m still very, very single,” Smith elaborated. “I think I’m even more single than I was when I released ‘In the Lonely Hour’, so I’m insanely single.”

Sam says: “Burning is the centre of the whole album.”
Photo Credit: Sam Smith Instagram

Pouring his heart out into a piano-driven torch song Burning, gives us something different to what we are used to from Smith. There’s not much production to it so It sounds empty, just like his heart. The song sees Sam go through the breakup of an important relationship and speaks about the raw pain of splitting with someone you love. He sings: “I’ve been burning, yes, I’ve been burning/ Such a burden, this flame on my chest/ No insurance to pay for the damage/ Yeah, I’ve been burning up since you left” – After singing this song, you will just want to give Sam a hug while you both cry in each other’s arms.

There was no doubt that Sam would release an album for the heartbreak, an album for you to listen to while you are crying over a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with 10 Things I Hate About You on in the background but he also takes the route of singing about detail and what happens really happens in breakups. He gets deep and personal and it feels like you are reading his diary.

No more Money on his mind, he’s lost a Good Thing so has to Restart his love and Leave his Lover in order to show us The Thrill Of It All.

Sam Smith’s tour will be commencing in March
Photo Credit: Sam Smith Instagram

Sam Smith’s The Thrill Of It All is available on iTunes and Spotify on November 3.

His UK and European arena tour kicks off in March and you can order tickets now!

You can preorder here and watch the video for Too Good at Goodbye below.