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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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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7 Reasons To Get Excited For The Orlando Fringe Festival

Aside from the obvious draw of 100+ shows to choose from, there are so many more reasons to check it out.

The Orlando Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts extravaganza featuring all kinds of acts from this city and others. It is also the longest-running theater festival in the United States, so it’s had plenty of time to get great. If you want the basics on how to attend, there is an article in the Orlando Sentinel that breaks it down for first-timers. But as we gear up for what is basically Coachella for theater nerds, here are just a few more things to get jazzed about.

1. You’ll finally be able to support your artist friends.

We all have that friend who is constantly involved in some sort of production. Of course you’d love to go and see them all, but who has the time? At Fringe, there are plenty of chances to see a show, since there are performances at many different times for two weeks. And if you have a lot of friends who are performers in Orlando, then I have good news! They will all be in the same place.

2. Two words: food trucks.

There is pretty much no other time when it is socially acceptable to eat a bunch of fried Oreos than at a carnival or at Fringe. Carnivals seem dangerous though, so you might as well just hang out at Fringe, where it’s safe.

3. There’s something for everyone.

Even if theater isn’t your thing, there are more than just a few alternative options available. You can also find concerts, stand up comedy, storytelling, and a whole lot of things that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was a thing."

4. This year, planning is easy.

In their 27th year, the Orlando Fringe has introduced a new way to plan which shows to see. The Fringe-o-Matic allows you to input the shows you’re interested in and create a personalized schedule so you can make it to (almost) all of them.

5. You’ll never have to travel far.

Most of the shows at Fringe are located in or around Loch Haven Park, and venues include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art. These are all within walking distance of each other, and are separated only by a parking lot (which, by the way, is free to use). The only other shows are BYOV, or Bring Your Own Venue, in multiple locations in Orlando.

6. It’s not just local acts.

Maybe if you’re an Orlando native, you’re a little tired of the local scene. This festival includes production companies from lots of other states and countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see fresh faces and shows that are the best of their respective locale.

7. Things will get weird.

Even if you’re a veteran Fringe-goer, you’re definitely in for a quite a few surprises. Last year, I saw a Canadian male burlesque troupe led by a Justin Trudeau impersonator (caution: link NSFW), and it wasn’t even the craziest thing that happened.

The Orlando Fringe Festival runs from May 15th to the 28th, so it’s right around the corner. It’s all happening so fast! But if you’re not hyped yet, maybe you should take a trip to the beer tent.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Fringe

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