As a big fan of Sam Smith’s debut album, it is immensely disappointing to hear him go down such a beige route with this album and I believe that the mastery of his first project was ultimately his downfall here.
Sam Smith is a British born singer-songwriter who soared to fame a few years ago with a few breakout singles such as ‘Money On My Mind’ and ‘Latch’ with Disclosure. His 2014 debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’ won countless awards and made Smith a global phenomenon, winning Grammy’s and partying in Los Angeles with megastars of the music industry. Since then there has been somewhat of a hiatus from Smith and question marks were continuing to arise as to when he would make his return but here he is, three years later with a brand new look. So let’s see if Sam Smith can follow up his brilliant debut with another modern day record breaker.
Straight from the off here it is painfully obvious to me that Sam Smith is sticking to a fairly similar avenue to what he went down on the debut but unfortunately for us, it doesn’t come close as a listening experience to his previous works simply because the songs aren’t as good. The album is only 10 songs long and seems straight to the point in regards to the motive and message it tries to send and i commend Smith for discussing his struggles with coming out as gay and dealing with heartbreak, but it just drags on from song to song and becomes increasingly dull as we go along here.
The religious imagery here appears nice on the surface, particularly with the insistence of using gospel choirs on some of these songs but in actual fact it is messy and the lines are very blurred when it comes down to actually knowing what he is on about. ‘Pray’ falls flat on its face and whoever’s idea it was to put Timbaland in the studio with Sam Smith is stealing a living, it is utterly ludicrous to even think about that. There is next to no quirks about this album unfortunately and that is a massive surprise to me because that is exactly what the debut was full of, it had a youthful exuberance and a sense of thrill; whereas this has an ageing sound and a soul-sucking persona.
In an age of dull pop music and a distinct lack of originality, Sam Smith has done his utmost to blend in to this cringeworthy field of chart tracks and barring a few exceptions, this album is an absolute stinker. As a big fan of Sam Smith’s debut album, it is immensely disappointing to hear him go down such a beige route with this album and I believe that the mastery of his first project was ultimately his downfall here. He set his standards way too high and despite some reluctant efforts, he hasn’t been able to create moments like ‘I Know I’m Not The Only One’ or ‘I’ve Told You Know’ off the debut.