An outpouring of emotion is the best way to describe Sam Smith’s second record The Thrill Of It All.
Having been away from the limelight for the past couple of years, Smith unexpectedly dropped the lead single from the new record a few months ago. Too Good At Goodbyes is a gospel-led track which resonates Smith’s trembling falsettos during the bridge, this is definitely one of the standout tracks on the record. The same could be said for Say It First, a song about saying ‘those three words’ in a relationship, complete with a The XX-like guitar line running throughout the song.
Although the ten-track playlist is full to the brim with ballads, it does show a change in artisitic direction from the crooner. One Last Song and Midnight Train have a strong R’n’B influence to them, something different to what Smith performed on his debut In The Lonely Hour. Midnight Train is without a doubt the best track on the record, with its doo-wop chorus and toned guitar line reminiscent to Smith’s huge hit Stay With Me.
He took a bold move in using unsigned artist YEBBA on the track No Peace, about a couples break up, however this move has paid off massively. Her rich, soulful voice is a welcome addition to the record.
Smith uses religious imagery on the track HIM to great effect, a track based around his struggles on opening up about his sexuality. The track Pray, based around his trip to Iraq, is a classy end to the record, with its gospel-R’n’B sound.
Sam Smith is well and truly back. It’s a strong second follow-up however it would have been great to see a different side to him, but nevertheless, this is Sam Smith at his best.
Best Tracks: Too Good At Goodbyes, Say It First, Midnight Train, Pray