Sam Smith’s sophomore album, “The Thrill of It All,” was released on Nov. 3, 2017. Its release arrives in the thick of the cold season ready to hit your heart when it is most vulnerable and aching for someone to have hot chocolate with. With past hits such as “Stay With Me,” “I’m Not The Only One,” and “Lay Me Down,” I had high expectations for Smith to once again break my heart and piece it back together with his angelic voice. After listening to the entire album a total of six times in the last two weeks, the three empty pints of dairy free Häagen-Dazs in my trash speak for themselves. “The Thrill Of It All” is beyond expectation.
Although I don’t quite love all 14 songs found in the special edition of the album, the majority of songs I do love make up for the few songs that lacked individual strength. Songs such as “Scars,” “One Day At A Time,” “Say It First” and “Burning” are not my favorite given they are a little more forgettable and much more mellow than the rest. They are beautifully constructed and Smith’s voice is as smooth and harrowing as always, but they didn’t have the punch of soul that I adore from Sam Smith’s music. On the other hand, songs such as “Nothing Left For You,” “Palace,” “Too Good At Goodbyes,” “Pray” and “Midnight Train” make “The Thrill Of It All” live up to its name. These songs break you, mend you and have you on your knees praising this angel of music, all whilst sipping on some fine bubbly. In order to do so, Smith uses influences from soul, folk and choir music to supplement his traditional hearty pop style. These songs make you feel elegant and dignified although you may be a slobbering mess of heartbreak. They take you through the thrill of love when it’s painful, exciting, undeserving, smooth and complicated. The powerful lyrics combined with the heart-wrenching melodies speak to what we always feel but are never able to fully articulate when playing the field of love. I very strongly recommend this album, whether you’re a fan of Smith’s or not. The music is romantic without being overtly sweet, mature without being monotonous and heartbreaking without being depressing. It gets an 8.5/10 from me 🙂