I have this bad habit of picking two or three songs from an album that I like and only listening to those. However, Sam Smith’s “The Thrill of It All” is so good that I have had the whole album on repeat.
Smith’s second album was released Nov. 3. The album is composed of 10 songs, with the special edition containing four bonus tracks. The album starts off strong with the all too familiar at this point, “Too Good at Goodbyes.” This was the first single, released Sept. 8. The song has already risen to popularity among the masses and created a great deal of hype around the album. The following tracks are all reminiscent of old school gospel and soul music. The standard album concludes with “Pray,” the second single released Oct. 6. I honestly had not heard this song, even though it was released prior to the album. Smith’s vocals are strong and moving on the track.
The four bonus tracks on the special edition mirror the style of the preceding tracks. Strangely, the eponymous track of the album is only included in the bonus edition, but in this age when everyone listens to music on streaming services, this probably does not make a difference. Access to the bonus tracks is readily available.
Smith’s soulful and powerful voice rings through in all of the tracks, but songs such as “The Thrill of it All,” “HIM” and “Midnight Train” really demonstrate Smith’s vocal ability. He is able to switch from powerful vocals to soft and haunting smoothly. I once called Smith the male version of Adele, and I stand by the statement.
Smith’s new album covers themes similar to as his previous album “In the Lonely Hour.” Both deal with relationships and heartbreak. This is a downfall of the album, as these themes may seem tired and worn out to listeners. The subject material is nothing new, but nevertheless the album is still enjoyable.
It is hard for me to choose which of Smith’s albums is better because, honestly, both are great. If I was forced to pick, I think “The Thrill of It All” comes ahead of “In the Lonely Hour,” but only by a slim margin. Smith had the hard task of outdoing himself, and I think he was able to pull it off. Smith’s voice and lyrics are equally powerful in both albums, but I prefer the background music of the new album. It seems to have more soul and body and fits less into the pop genre than Smith’s debut album. That being said, both are beautiful pieces of art.
Overall, Smith’s “The Thrill of It All” is worth the 49 minutes it takes to listen to the whole thing. The album is sure to be successful regardless of any shortcomings it may have.
I give this album 4 out of 5 stars
Cover photo courtesy of ThisisRnB.com