Sam Smith, The Thrill of It All – Album Review

Quick hit: The Trill of It All makes you want to sing. and cry. and drink. and cry some more. But all in the best ways possible. Sam Smith reemerges after a 3-year hiatus and follows up his amazing debut album with an equally powerful sophomore project that comes out right in time for the gloomy weather.

Cop, Drop, or Stream:  Cop!!!!!!!!!!! If you’re a member of the “sad gurlz/boiz” club like ya girl – do the most and cop the vinyl.

Our 5 Favorites:

  1. One Last Song (Ft. The Dap-Kings Horns) | Produced by: Steve Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Napes& Tyler Johnson
  2. Midnight Train (Ft. The Dap-Kings Horns) | Produced by: Steve Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Napes & Malay
  3. HIM | Produced by: Steve Fitzmaurice & Brendan Grieve
  4. Pray | Produced by:  
  5. Nothing Left For You | Produced by: Steve Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Napes

Disclaimer: We take 3 days minimum listening to a project to allow it to fully digest. We aim to give you insightful and useful information, so we refrain from rushing.

Sam Smith: The Thrill of It All – The Review

The Thrill of It All
via Vevo

In the lonely hours (see what I did there) of 2014 a young artist from London named Sam Smith released his debut album. Aside from a feature track on Naughty Boy’s “La La La” and “Latch” for Disclosure in 2013, Smith was practically unheard of in the US. Fast forward to a year later and In The Lonely Hour was one of the best-selling albums of the year – earning him four Grammy awards and a sold out stadium world tour. Currently, the debut has sold about 12 millions copies worldwide.

Outside of that, Sam Smith went pretty much under the radar for the next three years. Sure, there was “Writing’s On The Wall” – the feature song for 2015’s blockbuster Bond movie, “Spectre” that included a Grammy performance. But other than that, we got nada. Until now!

Last Friday, Nov. 3 Sam released his HIGHLY anticipated sophomore project, The Thrill of It All. And, we can tell you that it did not disappoint. Filled with the same melancholy and romance thematic tracks that brought us to love him in 2014, The Thrill gives us emotion, but makes it more personal. *insert Tyra meme*

“I wasn’t trying to make a big pop record when I made this album. I was actually just trying to make something personal and like a diary.”

The Tracks

It’s no secret that Sam can absolutely bring the house down with his voice. But, what really makes this album feel special are the gospel-inspired choir background vocals throughout.

Tracks like, “Pray” and “HIM” add in the choir vocals, while the lyrics delve into Sam’s personal afflictions with religion – and his sexuality. “Don’t you try and tell me that God doesn’t care for us / It is him I love, it is him I love.”

“HIM” is a track that has been anticipated by many. Sam begins by basically painting us a picture of him coming out. Here, he addresses a, “Holy Father” – that can pass for both the spiritual and the biological patriarchal figure. “Holy Father, we need to talk / I have a secret, that I can’t keep / I’m not the boy that, you thought you wanted / Please don’t get angry, have faith in me.”

By the end of the song, we find Sam walking hand-in-hand with his lover through the streets of Mississippi. A state that is known to not be kind to intolerance. I think this is where Sam is at his greatest on the album. Raw, honest, and vulnerable.

Other tracks like “Too Good at Goodbyes,” “One Last Song,” and “Burning” bring back the romantic melancholy we expect from Smith.

For me, the most exciting part of this album were the doo-wop inspired tracks that make me think a lot of Amy Winehouse – “One Last Song” and “Baby You Make Me Crazy.” For the record, Sam’s cover of “Tears Dry on Their Own” is worth checking out, if you already haven’t.

The Thrill of It All comes in two offerings – standard and a deluxe “special edition.” Stream it on Apple Music and Spotify Below.