Back in 2014, there was simply no getting away from Sam Smith. His debut album 'In The Lonely Hour' was not only one of the biggest selling of the year, the radio was regularly playing one of the many brilliant singles on a loop for months on end. Now after a well-earned break, the frontman has returned with his second studio effort 'The Thrill Of It All', and from the initial listen, it seems he still working on a ballad tip.
While sonically there is little difference in the sound of the two records, this new release seems to be lacking in a lot of the pure emotion that filled the debut up so well. The sheer power in his voice seems dampened a lot in this new release, leading to one so-so single after another. It works fine as a body of work, but without the passion that he injected on the first album, this new effort just seems to pail in comparison.
Overall, 'The Thrill Of It All' seems like a record looking to play it safe. Rather than branch out and spread his creative wings, the frontman has kept firmly to his comfort zone and delivered a watered down version of 'In The Lonely Hour'. Something that we were hoping wouldn't happen.