Emotional. Raw. Striking. Three words to describe Sam Smith’s brand new album “The Thrill of It All.” With 14 songs and a digital booklet available with purchase of the album, Smith’s heart-wrenching tell-all journey is laid out in some of the most real and sense-evoking music he has ever written. The album was released on Nov. 3, 2017, and has already had millions of listeners and positive reviews.
A 25-year-old singer/songwriter from England, Smith first made his debut in the American music world by being featured on Disclosure’s popular song “Latch.” Since then, Sam Smith has produced two albums and been featured in dozens of other songs by popular artists.
This album is a stark, and completely honest rendition of Smith’s struggles as an artist, and as a human. His chilling voice making his messages so much more compelling.
Smith’s first song in the album, “Too Good At Goodbyes,” was released early on Sept. 8, 2017 to give fans a taste of what was to come. It immediately took the world by storm and was soon played on radio stations all across the country. People couldn’t get enough of Sam Smith’s unique tone and unquestionable talent. His deep, soulful voice speaks for itself, giving me chills every time I hear his recognizable voice. The passion and emotion he felt seeps through the cracks in this slow, dark song, allowing fans and listeners to get a glimpse into Smith’s life and the pain he’s felt and dealt with over the years of his life.
Much of the album reads, like a confession-filled diary or collection of journal entries, each one unraveling a layer of personal tragedy or telling a compelling story that makes up the substance of his life. Songs like “HIM” and “Say it First” express the pain and heartbreak that Smith has felt he needed to show the world, and he doesn’t leave any of his thoughts or feelings out while doing it, giving himself to the world without resistance or regret.
Upbeat songs “One Last Song” and “Baby, You Make Me Crazy” add a fun spin on the album and help provide some relief to the otherwise dark and deep message behind Smith’s lyrics. The intricate and loud instrumentals that accompany Smith’s vocals on these songs is what makes his words come alive and puts listeners in a feel-good, powerful mood.
Included intermittently throughout the album are slower songs with a more gospel-like feel to them, changing up the tone and sound of the album to add variety. Songs like “Pray” and “Burning” are about his attempts to figure out who he is and find his place in the world, emphasizing Smith’s struggle with love and loss.
Smith’s lyrics in “Burning” describe how he has made it to this point in his life, and how he overcame his struggle with his identity and sense of self. “Funny how time goes by/ had respect for myself/ that river ran dry/ you reached a limit/ I wasn’t enough.” His courageous attempts to be open, real and truthful proved to be successful in his lyrics, and this is what makes them so thought-provoking and relatable to people of all ages.
With slow piano ballads intertwined with more upbeat, heart-wrenching passionate lyrics, Smith’s music is categorized as “orchestral pop,” but could be described as a twist of pop, R&B, Gospel and Indie/Folk, appealing to any type of music lover.