Sam Smith: The Thrill of it All review: A candid cry for help

Words: Stella Akinwumi | Subbing: Isabella Dawe

His 2014 debut album ‘In the Lonely Hour’ expressed the pain of unrequited love, now English singer/songwriter Sam Smith proves that time really is a healer.

Smith’s second studio album ‘The Thrill of it All’ is about the breakdown of the first real romance in his life. In an attempt to stray from the mainstream material, you know the ones where you wait for the occasional drop, ‘Thrill of it All’ opens with Sam’s notorious tenor tone and basic yet strong piano chords. The album explicitly conveys how heartbreak can lead to happiness, and that starts with the lead single ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’. The song has gotten nearly 200 million views since its release, and establishes the key ingredient for a potential number one album, getting your heart broken (look at Taylor Swift and Adele)

‘Burning’, the promotional single from the album is led by an evocative acapella. Smith expresses sensitivity and vulnerability, and that is made evident within the transcendence of his vocal range. The range in dynamics is quite unusual in modern pop, and this showcases Smith’s ability to translate complex emotions into a potent statement.

The escalation between lyrical nostalgia and the hundred voices of gospel successfully convey the journey from a sanitised soul. The old ‘skool’ styled ‘One Last Song’ carries a high tenor and eases into a faultless falsetto, evoking feelings of sentiment and emotion.

The juxtaposition within the two melodies in a way heightens the suspense, and keeps us engaged within this spiritual journey.

Although Smith’s sorrow might be overwhelming sorrow for some, his vocals convey an emotional journey of love and loss. ‘The Thrill of it All’ has high chances in having the same multiplatinum success of ‘In the Lonely Hour’. If the industry standard of breakup albums taught us anything, it’s that heartbreak is inevitable, but a universal emotion.


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