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Sam Smith’s ‘The Thrill of it All’ : Album Review

Image by Katie Golding

What do you get when you mix incredible vocals, a piano and a gospel choir? The answer is Sam Smith’s soulful and poetic album ‘The Thrill of It All’.

Released in November 2017, Sam Smith’s second studio album ‘The Thrill of It All’ is a collection of fourteen powerful ballads which explore the themes of sexuality, self-doubt and religion.

Through listening to the album it is clear that the artist has encapsulated his real-life experience of heartbreak and self-discovery and transcribed them into song. “Pray” and “Baby, You Make Me Crazy” are extremely upbeat, catchy and will make you want to get up and dance. In juxtaposition the songs “Nothing Left For You”, “Midnight Train” and “Burning” are slow, revealing and tug on the heartstrings. Listen to these songs at your own risk as you may be a blubbering mess crying about all of your past life decisions after hearing them.

One song which stands out from the rest of the album is ‘Him‘. The song follows the journey of a man within the Catholic faith coming out as homosexual and the struggles many in a similar situation face with identity and belonging.

The song doesn’t hold back with its strong message of acceptance with the opening verse “Holy Father, we need to talk, I have a secret that I can’t keep. I’m not the boy that you thought you wanted. Please don’t get angry, have faith in me.”

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Last night I played my final show of my UK tour & we ended the tour with our fourth night at the London O2. This tour has truly been the highlight of my career. When I was 16 years old I made a dream board and drew pictures of all the things I wanted to Achieve in my life. From having babies to travelling round the world. And in the corner of my dream board I drew the London O2 arena. I want to thank you all for making my dreams come true and for singing along and celebrating LOVE and freedom and honesty with me on this tour. To all the kids out there….. always believe in yourself and fight and work hard for your dreams!! Always. I’ll be watching from the sidelines ❤ Europe…. we are coming for you next 🏳‍🌈🌹✨🙌🏻

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Within an interview with New Musical Express (NME) Sam Smith stated that the song isn’t a recollection of his own life rather its a general coming- out- story he has dedicated to the LGBTQI community. The song has received an overwhelming amount of praise from the LGBTQI community who were thrilled (pun intended) that the artist incorporated the struggle many have faced through song.

Overall, ‘The Thrill of It All’ is a powerful and expressive album which branches beyond the typical “break-up song” genre.  If you have ever had your heart broken, been in love or experienced loss I guarantee you will connect with a song within ‘The Thrill of It All’.

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