Review: The Thrill of It All by Sam Smith

Review: The Thrill of It All by Sam Smith

The man who has broken our hearts with his emotional lyrics and powerful voice has come back with his second album.

Three years ago, Sam Smith graced us with his voice in his first album In the Lonely Hour. His voice captivated everyone around the world with his emotional lyrics and powerful voice. Songs like "Stay With Me" and "Latch" left audiences crying and a sense of not being alone in the feelings portrayed in his lyrics.

Just last week, Sam dropped his second full album, The Thrill of it All, and it was worth the wait. This album, compiled of 14 heartbreakingly beautiful songs will have you ugly crying by the first song. Each song is filled with impactful and relatable lyrics, leaving listeners crying even harder than they were with his last album.

1. "Too Good at Goodbyes"

The opening song to the new album is all too relatable. The song reads like a letter to a former love, starting with the line "You must think that I'm stupid/You must think that I'm a fool." The song continues to tell the story of how the narrator can no longer get too close with potential loves because "I'm just protecting my innocence/I'm just protecting my soul."

As someone who has been on too many first dates to count, and only two second dates, this song is all too relatable. The song's title is exactly how I feel when I get ghosted or stood up for the umpteenth time, I'm way too good at goodbyes.

Standout Lyric: "Baby, we don't stand a chance, it's sad but it's true."

2. "Say It First"

If you have ever experienced unrequited love, this song is for you. After a while, you give up on love altogether, and put up walls, not allowing yourself to fall for someone else unless you know that they have feeling for you.

Standout Lyric: "I know you're right for me/But I'm waiting for everything in your world/To align with my world."

3. "One Last Song"

One of the very few upbeat melodies in this album, One Last Song is Sam’s final goodbye to one of his exes. He captures our hearts as he explains the heartbreak he went through.

Standout Lyric: "You made me sad till I loved the shade of blue."

4. "Midnight Train"

Midnight Train is the story right after a break up. The adjectives that Sam calls himself through the breakup read “Selfish” and “Monster.” Through the song, Sam explains that he loved him too much to stay, eventually sharing that he simply did not feel the same way as his partner.

This song is almost the opposite of "Say It First", showing how it feels to be on the other side of unrequited love. He shows how you can love someone, and try your hardest to force a relationship, but at the end of the day, if you aren’t feeling the same way, it’s best to walk away.

Standout Lyric: "But I give a little piece of me away/Every single day/So I pick up the pieces."

5. "Burning".

In an interview, Sam said that "Burning" was his favorite song he has ever written, and that he feels emotionally naked because of this song. And honestly, the lyrics and emotions conveyed in the song feel like he held nothing back. In the song, Sam shows how post breakups lead to bad habits, pain, self-hate, and emotional dread.

Standout Lyric: "Funny how time goes by/Had respect for myself, that river ran dry."

6. "HIM"

In the opening line, “Holy Father, we need to talk/I have a secret that I can’t keep,” Sam paints the picture that every LGBTQ+ kid goes through at some point. Religious leaders and members, for the longest time, have told gay people that they are not loved, mistakes, and abominations. Although there has been a shift in recent years, where being LGBTQ+ has become more acceptable, there is still a struggle all over the world for equality and acceptance. This song is Sam’s response to how it feels to accept yourself for the first time.

Standout Lyric: "Don't you try and tell me that God doesn't care for us."

7. "Baby, You Make Me Crazy"

The only other upbeat melody in this album is exactly how it feels when someone ghosts you or breaks up with you. The first thing that comes to mind is to ignore the situation. You go out with your sisters and have a night out on the town, anything to keep your mind off them.

Standout Lyric: "What are you to do when the person that you love just says no?"

8. "No Peace" (Feat. YEBBA)

No Peace is the only song in this album that has a featured artist, and trust me, you’ll be begging for more collaborations between the two of them. YEBBA’s mesmerizing voice compliments Sam’s voice in a way will make your knees weak and tears fill your eyes.

Standout Lyric: "Will you show me the piece of my heart that I've been missing?"

9. "Palace"

Real talk, break ups are hard. Ending a long term relationship is devastating. You have all this knowledge and memories of a person, and all of a sudden, all of it seems useless. For so long all of those little tidbits and memories brought smiles and joy to you, now it reminds you of what you have lost.

In Palace, Sam shares how all of this information and memories are like palaces in your mind. You now have no use for these palaces so they’ve become ruins and a waste of time and space. In the end, however, there is a revelation that even though a broken and ended relationship may seem like a waste of time, it never is.

Standout Lyric: "Sometimes I wish we never build this palace/But real love is never a waste of time."

10. "Pray"

In my favorite song of the album, Sam is, presumably, singing to a God or higher entity of sorts. The song shares the struggle of someone who is contemplating the reality of religion in a hard time. When he exclaims he's a more of a sinner over being a saint is often how most people, especially LGBTQ+ people who feel they are automatically pegged as sinners, it is easy to relate to this song. Throughout the song, the sinner demands to have a conversation with God, requesting for a call. Anyone who has contemplated religion has had this very thought, 'God, if you're out there, please say something.'

Standout Lyric: "I don't want to lose but I fear for the winners."

11. "Nothing Left for You"

If you ever need a montage that shows how you evolved from a breakup, but then when the next love interest came, you had nothing to give, this is the song in the background. This song tells that very story. You put everything into who you believed was the love of your life, and after all is said and done, you have nothing left for the next relationship. You went all in, put all you eggs in one basket, and you come out with nothing.

Standout Lyric: "You won't hear me say those words again/This is something that you cannot mend."

12. "The Thrill of It All"

In the title song of the album, Sam tells the story of how you can fall so easily for someone, and lose yourself in someone so easily. He shares how it feels when that one person calls you again and you remember everything you had, and everything it could have been, but never was.

Standout Lyric: "Even though we weren't love, it was far from lust."

13. "Scars"

This song literally made me break down crying in my schools dining hall. The song is dedicated to his parents who went through a painful divorce. Through the song, Sam shares what each of his parents went through, and shares how proud he is of his parents for where they are, and how they have put him and his siblings before themselves.

Standout Lyric: "But when Mother told you that she didn't love you/All these bridges hit the sea/So you build another one and helped us cross it/Even though you were in need."

14. "One Day at a Time"

In the final song of the album, Sam tells the story of where he is now. Lets forget our past and start working towards our future. Although it will be hard, you can do it if you take it one day at a time.

Standout Lyric: "We're neither saints or sinners/So leave your history behind."

Cover Image Credit: Entertainment Tonight

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10 Reasons You Should Start Reading

If you are looking for a new hobby or pastime, reading is definitely one to consider.

Reading has always been a passion of mine. I loved reading even when I was in elementary school. I found a book series targeted towards kids that I think I still have the entire series of. It had helped me in many ways throughout my life whether it was with school or making new friends. Now I want to help you love reading just as much as I do.

1. It can be a new hobby

If you are looking for a new hobby or pastime, reading is definitely one to consider. Most people use their phone or television as a their main ways to spend any extra time they have during the day. However, reading can be a new hobby for you, all you need is five minutes to read a page or two in any book you have. Every time you open Instagram, it may have the same posts you saw since the last time you were on it two minutes ago. With a book, every line is new and every time you open it something different is happening no matter how many times you do it. When you're done with one you can pick up another and start the process all over again.

2. Reading can help with school

If you're like me and still in college, or even if you're in high school or lower, reading can help you with assignments. If you come across an assignment you're having difficulty with reading can help you clear your mind or may even contain the answers if you read a textbook. I know most people think reading a textbook is one of the most dreadful things you could possibly do, but if you read books normally it is much more bearable.

3. Reading can help expand your vocabulary

If you're ever in the mood to learn new words, reading is a great way to do that. Authors mostly use words that are used in everyday language but a lot of times you can find words in books that you won't know the meaning of. When you find them you can look them up and suddenly you have a new word you can use everyday if you wanted.

4. There's a genre for everyone

Before you say "I've already tried reading books, I don't find them interesting," take a second look because there's a slim chance you find nothing you like. There are dozens of genres from romance to science fiction and from poetry to fantasy. Don't give up on trying to read, instead, try to think of a topic you're interested in and take a look at that section next time you're in a book store.

5. Reading can help your imagination

Everyone has an imagination, but reading can help expand it. Reading certain types of books can help you think of things you may never even have considered picturing in your mind. If you take a look at any science fiction or fantasy book there is a whole world in there completely different from ours for you to think about and to open your mind to possibilities.

6. It can be a conversation topic

Reading can open up a whole new world of conversation to you. Right now, you and your friends probably talk and gossip about the newest episode of your favorite show on Netflix, but what happens when you're all caught up? Your friends may read a book series that you never got into but if you start reading it you can talk with them about that book. Even if they're done with the book most readers love talking about a book they like to anyone even if they aren't caught up.

7. Reading can help with writers block

If you write anything, poems or short stories or even novels, then you've experienced the one thing every writer fears the most... writers block. For those of you who may not know what it is, writers block is basically writing something but then hitting a wall and not knowing how to continue it. Reading can help this because you may get ideas from other books. I'm not saying to plagiarize but someone else's work may give you an idea that you could take in your own direction.

8. Reading can be thought stimulating

Reading can help you think more critically than you have before if you pick the right book. You might be in a disagreement with someone about something going on in the world today or in the past. You can pick up a political or historical book and find out information that you may not have known before and it may change your mind or bolster you point more than it already was.

9. You can be very passionate about reading

Reading can be a meaningful passion that you have. It embodies the art of storytelling that has been around even before people could read and write.

10. Reading will always be around

No matter what happens people will be reading, whether it be a hard copy of a book or if it's on a reading tablet, it won't go away. This is good for two reasons: it can be something you can do for however long you want to and it will never go out of style like most things do today.

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