By Caitlin Brenner

With the release of his single “Too Good at Goodbyes” in September, fans of Sam Smith knew his next album would be something special. Now that “The Thrill of It All” has come out, fans are anything but disappointed.

Sam Smith’s sophomore LP is the perfect amount of melancholy and soul that fans have grown to expect from his work. The sorrow in his lyrics never grows old, and his falsetto continues to define his unquestionable talent.

Sam Smith stands on a gold-lit stage.

“The Thrill of It All” is Sam Smith’s second album after a three year hiatus. (Source: Wikimedia)

There are similarities between Smith’s “In The Lonely Hour” and his newest LP; both center around heartbreak, highlight Smith’s gorgeous vocal range and offer a remedy for those suffering from the same pain he is. It seems that the more sad Smith gets, the more beautiful his music becomes.

If “In The Lonely Hour” portrayed the journey through heartbreak, “The Thrill of It All” is about the stages of saying goodbye. In songs throughout the album, Smith expands on the struggle of letting go of a past love and his hope of gaining a relationship to depend on.

Loyal to his brand, “Too Good At Goodbyes,” “Say It First” and “Burning” give fans classic Sam Smith vibes: rich tones and overwhelming soul. In “Too Good At Goodbyes,” the background choir vocals and the addition of finger-snapping offer a smooth, almost spiritual sound for listeners.

Until remixes are made, these songs won’t be heard in any clubs like “Omen” and “Latch” were. There are still more upbeat tunes on the album though, with “One Last Song” and “Baby, You Make Me” incorporating drumbeats and a horn section. These songs gave the album some swing.

“Pray” has strong impressions of R&B, where Smith showcases his deeper tones and proves he can hit any note thrown at him. Along with “Nothing Left For You” and “HIM,” strong choir vocals back up Smith’s rich vocal chords, giving the album more power.

The songs that stand out on “The Thrill Of It All” are the ones that have deeper meanings. In “HIM,” Smith speaks of the struggle of feeling as if no religion accepts him for his sexuality. Lyrics like “I’m not the boy you thought you wanted, I love him” and “Please don’t get angry, have faith in me” carry heavy emotions that are felt by his fans.

“Scars” is another song that carries a lot of weight, as Smith thanks his mother and father for their continued love and support after their divorce. Even though this song is about the failed relationship of his parents, it ends up being the most positive of the fourteen tracks. The song is a heartfelt and honest letter to his family; it’s on a personal level that had yet to be revealed in his music before the album’s release.

The release of “The Thrill of It All” marks the return of the master of melodrama. Loyal fans will surely appreciate his second album just as much, or even more, than his first LP. This album will heal your broken heart, or leave you mourning a relationship you never even had. That is the undeniable power of Sam Smith.

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