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The thrill of Sam Smith

Taylor Stenroos, Practicum Writer

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On Nov. 3, Sam Smith released his long-awaited second studio album, “The Thrill of It All.” Although it has been three years since Smith released his debut album “In the Lonely Hour” his break from music has definitely not hampered his ability to create meaningful and soulful songs that both tug on the audience’s heartstrings and gets everyone singing along.

Born in London, England, Smith was actively involved with music throughout his childhood. He studied musical theater and sang in jazz bands until he began studying singing and songwriting under the direction of prominent jazz pianist Joanna Eden.

Smith rose to fame after he was featured on Disclosure’s “Latch,” which peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and remained on the chart for the next 33 weeks. On May 26, 2014, Smith released his debut album “In the Lonely Hour” which peaked at No. 2 for Billboard’s Top Album Sales, and remained on the chart for an impressive 88 weeks. “In the Lonely Hour” features some of Smith’s most prominent singles including “Stay With Me,” “I’m Not the Only One” and “Lay Me Down.”

Smith’s new album “The Thrill of It All” is gaining success worldwide after being released last week. According to Billboard, it is currently on track to take the coveted No. 1 spot in the Top 200 chart, having sold over 200,000 albums in the past week alone.

“The Thrill of It All” is a reflection of Smith’s personal life, discussing his love life and the difficulties he faces. Smith came out as gay shortly after releasing his first album, and he discusses this topic more in his new album.

“Too Good at Goodbyes” was the first single from his new album. It reached No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 8 weeks. “Too Good at Goodbyes” combines a mix of sorrowful lyrics and a catchy beat that makes the audience want to ugly cry and sing along at the same time. In this song he speaks of past romantic experiences that didn’t work out, saying, “So I’m never gonna get too close to you / Even when I mean the most to you / In case you go and leave me in the dirt.” Smith is able to make his audience feel a connection to his songs by making his lyrics relatable. The audience can feel his pain and emotions in his singing, which is one of his biggest talents.

“HIM” may be one of Smith’s most personal songs on the album. His lyrics speak of his relationship he had with another man, and the backlash that he is faced with as a result: “Say I shouldn’t be here, but I can’t give up his touch / It is him I love, it is him / Don’t you try and tell me that God doesn’t care for us / It is him I love.” Smith is not afraid to speak about his experiences with dating and being gay, and this is reflected throughout this album. His voice is extremely commanding in this song. It starts out simple with just Smith and a piano and eventually grows stronger with more instrumentals and a choir singing in the background. The lyrics and music in this song are very powerful and worth listening to.

“The Thrill of It All” is just what the music industry has been waiting for. Smith showcases his voice through a mixture of emotional, soulful and upbeat songs. Be sure to check out his other songs such as “Burning,” “Pray” or “No Peace.” These songs are perfect for studying or just lounging in bed on a rainy day.

For those who are interested, Smith is going on tour in 2018 and will be making a stop at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia this upcoming July.

Taylor Stenroos is a fourth-year student majoring in English writings with minors in journalism and French. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The Student News Service of West Chester University
The thrill of Sam Smith