Sam Smith: The Thrill Of It All – Album Review
In 2012 a newcomer by the name of Sam Smith entered the music fray. Featuring on Disclosure’s breakthrough track “Latch”. That was then followed by his inspired collaboration on Naughty Boy’s “La La La” around May 2013. This was a proper banger that had industry folks and music fans alike taking notice of Smith’s silky vocals. The long awaited album finally came in the form of ‘In the Lonely Hour’ which marked him down as one of the best male vocalists to come out of the UK in a long time. “Money on My Mind” & “Stay with Me” both were international successes and opened him up to the US market. Grammy awards in 2015 followed. Smith could do no wrong, like a flawless vocal on one of his songs.
‘The Thrill of it All’, begins with lead single ‘Too Good At Goodbyes’, which really sets the tone of the album. Smith confronts the very real and complicated realisation that most of us have unfortunately encountered, of being with someone who is breaking your heart, and the constant break ups which inevitably lead you to the point of no return. Sam is backed up by a soaring gospel choir that elevates the song all the way to its epic crescendo.
Smith’s well publicised recent break up led him into a downward spiral that has brought about the creativity for this heart felt album.
‘Midnight Train’ the title itself conjures up such powerful imagery. “Love you so much, I have to let you go” he sings as he finally begins to actually let go of a love that has run its course. Carefully crafted with a resounding drum element that plays throughout, signalling the way for Sam to just write his love letter from his Midnight Train.
What really stands out is Smith’s unwavering honesty and the way he deals with his pain so publicly through his music. Burning begins with his intense vocals “I’ve been burning up since you’ve left.” He references how he left his friends behind for an ex-lover and does not have them in his time of need. An over indulgence of cigarettes and a lack of respect for himself following his heartbreak is brilliantly articulated. Again a simply sumptuous chorus brings this song home with a thrilling climax.
One of the last tracks on the album ‘The Thrill Of it All’ beautifully encapsulates the Journey Sam Smith has been on over the last 5 years. As he sings “I guess I got lost in your heart, in the thrill of it all.” He really channels how we simply get lost in love and The Thrill of it All.
The album is a delightful piece of Smiths heart that doubles up as the best piece of therapy he has ever probably taken part in. Sam’s soothing sound settles your soul and if you’ve been through what he has it’s a comforting companion in your ear drum.