by J. Pepper
Sam Smith has a new album set to hit the streets on November 3rd, this will be his second studio album titled, The Thrill of It All, a follow-up to the Best New Artist Grammy-winning singer’s 2014 debut LP, In the Lonely Hour. I for one have been waiting for this album.
This offering sports 10-tracks. A collaboration with unsigned singer YEBBA and producers like Malay, Stargate, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd and Smith’s longtime collaborator Jimmy Napes, who co-wrote Smith’s Song of the Year and Record of the Year-winning “Stay with Me.”
“Too Good at Goodbyes,” will not disappoint, Smith evokes his clear as a bell and soulful head voice, that instantly signals, this long-awaited follow up to his debut offering, is going to be well worth the wait. A point of interest – fans who pre-order Smith’s new album will receive both “Too Good at Goodbyes” and “Pray” as instant downloads. The album’s title track, which isn’t included on the 10-song track list, and three more non-LP cuts will be featured on the U.S. deluxe edition of The Thrill of It All. But hurry, November 3rd is right around the corner.
“Burning,” features piano and the exposed voice of Smith first in an A cappella approach, and then accompanied by piano, it is in this setting you can hear the clear command Smith has with his versatile instrument. Dripping with sincere angst, digging deep into the lower register growl, just at the right moments for added emotional depth. Smith has a quality to his upper register that is angelic, if you are not feeling chills by now, please check your pulse, as truly you must be dead.
“Pray,” has a gospel hip-hop feel, Timbaland produced this track, the gospel-inspired track, bolstered by a textbook but understated Timbaland beat, finds Smith fronting a choir as he sings about searching for hope in desperate times. When he lets his voice roar, you are immediately reminded of why this vocalist has such a commanding presence among his peers.
Refreshingly, worth the wait. Fans that fell in love with Smith the first time, can enjoy an even sweeter revelation this time around. Is it possible to improve on perfection, well certainly Smith has found a way, and thankfully we are the recipients of his genius.