Sam Smith: The Thrill Of It All – Album Review

Finally, Sam Smith released his second studio album “The Thrill Of It All” on the 3rd of November. I’ve been waiting for this for too long, I’m sure you too. For me, Sam Smith is the male version of Adele. Their voices must be a gift from God to us, their vocals are heaven on earth. In 2015 Sam Smith won 4 Grammy Awards out of 6 nominations. He was suddenly the number one singer worldwide and I’m sure you know at least his hit “Stay With Me”. Since then he took a well-deserved break and now he is back with his second album, he claims that this one is much more personal and intimate, but also that only four songs are about him and the other songs are about the stories of his family and friends. I’m curious about the 14 songs on the album.

Too Good At Goodbyes

This song was the first release of his upcoming album, released on September 8th. In an interview, Sam stated that “Too Good At Goodbyes” is about a real relationship, so this song must be a personal one. The lyrics are about a complicated unstable relationship, in which his lover leaves him permanently. So, Sam gets used to the goodbyes and lowers his expectations for this relationship and seems to get colder to his lover. Even though he is just protecting himself from him, for not getting hurt again.

Say It First

In this slow ballad, Sam seems to have found a new lover, but he isn’t sure yet. So, he wants him to say the words “I love you” first to be sure. In this song his vocals are stronger in the foreground than the instrumental, which is very soft, it is almost like a lullaby.

One Last Song

In the 2nd single of the album, he is literally singing one last song to his former lover, who he calls the love of my life. According to the lyrics, it seems that Sam has no contact with his ex-boyfriend anymore, so he sings this song as a message to him. He is also somehow saying goodbye to him forever, as we already know Sam is too good at goodbyes. Compared to the other songs, which are mostly powerful ballads, this one is more like a fun song.

Midnight Train

Sam Smith is a jerk in this song. The lyrics are heartbreaking and emotional. Even though he still loves his lover, he walks away with the midnight train and leaves him. He can’t explain the reasons for this action but in the first verse, he mentions that he is losing a piece of himself daily in this relationship. I guess, he doesn’t love him as much he loves him.

Burning

In this piano ballad, which was released as the 2nd promotional single on the 27th October, things are getting interesting because this song is written like a response to “Midnight Train” from the point of his lover view. He sings in the chorus: “Yeah, I’ve been burning up since you left”. The lyrics are metaphorical and intense. It is about an abandoned lover, who started a smoke addiction to deal with his heartbreak, and who is still missing his lover so bad.

HIM

“HIM” is a hymn for the LGBTQ+ community. The lyrics are about embracing your homosexuality and presenting yourself to God and to the world proud and the way you are. It is written like a coming out song. The song for itself is touching, Sam’s strong deep voice during the verses and the chorus show the wholeheartedness of this song. The bridge of this track is magic, it takes you to another world.

Baby, You Make Me Crazy

In this song, someone breaks up with Sam Smith on the phone and he tries anything to forget him, even though he cannot let him go. But he tries to move on with the support of music and his sisters. He also complains that his lover wasn’t brave enough to say it him into his eyes. Although the lyrics are based on a sad theme the song itself gives you a good feeling, while listening to it.

No Peace

“No Peace” is a duet with the new singer YEBBA, I’m sure she will become more famous after this. This song is a breakup song too like “Burning”. I guess, they sing it together and not to each other. The lyrics are about being left and being broken into pieces by your lover. Again, you smoke and drink to heal your bitterness. I hope you know, this is not the right way to deal with a heartbreak. Worth mentioning is, that this track is the longest track on the album with almost five minutes.

Palace

In this song Sam reflects on a past relationship, it seems like he is moving on. In the chorus, he states that “real love is never a waste of time”. “Palace” is used as a metaphor for their past relationship, which is a ruin now and hosts the ghost of his lover. A nice slow song about moving on after real love.

Pray

“Pray” was released as a promotional single on the 6th of October. In this song, Sam presents his opinions on the bad events that happened in the world. Even though he doesn’t believe in God, he sees praying as the only option. I love this line of the bridge: “everyone prays at the end”. This song could also be a reference to the pray hashtags which appear in the social media almost after every terror attack. #prayfortheworld

Nothing Left For You

In this song he sings to a new man that he cannot love him, nothing is left for him, because he gave all his love to his ex-boyfriend. So, he is heavy heartbroken that he is not ready for a new relationship. This song is contrary to “Palace” because in this one he cannot move on.

The Thrill Of It All

The album titled song seems to be about a lover, about who Sam already sang in his first album. In the first verse, he says that he regrets to have mentioned him to the whole world. In the second verse, he reflects on their relationship, in the chorus he blames himself. This slow piano ballad is a bit disappointing for me, it is the weakest song so far. I guess it means something for Sam, so he named the album after this title. This song is somehow like the soundtrack “Writing’s On The Wall”, which I also didn’t like back then. Maybe you’ll like it.

Scars

Ok. I’m crying now. I found my favorite song on the album. This is so emotional, I love the story, his vocals, the e-guitar. It’s perfect. In this song Sam Smith thanks to his mother and to his father for their love, for clearing up his scars. I’m listening to this song on repeat, it is very inspirational. It will take you to your deepest and darkest thoughts about your life. Thank you, Sam, for writing this song.

One Day At A Time

Sam ends his album with a nice slow love song. It is about him and his lover taking a break from the everyday life and enjoying the moment together at the river.

After listening to this album almost 10 times and analyzing all the lyrics, I must say I love it. Well done Sam! This album has everything: love, heartbreak, moving on, religion, his past. I’m glad that Sam Smith co-wrote in all tracks of the album. I didn’t want to mention his incredible vocals for every song, yes, they are celestial, but I’d like to mention that he has backing vocals by the choir: “TheLJSingers”, who support him in the songs “Too Good At Goodbyes”, “Pray”, “HIM”, “Nothing Left For You” and “Baby, You Make Me Crazy”. I’ve been listening to this album the whole week, especially the last two days. It made me feel sad, depressed, happy and inspired. This album is perfect for a rainy day. I wish him to win a lot of Grammy Awards again with this album. He will be on tour in spring 2018, I will see him live in Zurich and then I’ll write a concert review. Until then let me know which one is your favorite song on the album in the comment section. Don’t hesitate to share this album review with a friend. Thanks for your attention and support.

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