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The Thrill of It All is Sam Smith's second studio album that was released on November 3, 2017 by Capitol Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Too Good At Goodbyes
  2. Say It First
  3. One Last Song
  4. Midnight Train
  5. Burning
  6. Him
  7. Baby, You Make Me Crazy
  8. No Peace (featuring Yebba)
  9. Palace
  10. Pray

Album BackgroundEdit

On October 6, 2017, Sam Smith announced via Twitter that his second album was scheduled to be released on November 3, 2017.

Speaking to Billboard about the album, Smith said: "I went through, like, this vortex, came out, I feel like I've rebuilt myself as a stronger thing and I'm just gonna go into the vortex again," he says in a preview that features a montage of studio sessions. "I wasn't trying to make a big pop record when I made this album. I was actually just trying to make something personal and like a diary."

Chart PerformanceEdit

"The Thrill of It All" topped the UK Albums chart during its first week of release with 97,328 combined units (consisting of 83,637 sales and 13,691 sales-equivalent streams), giving Smith his second number-one album in the UK.

In the United States, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with album-equivalent units of 237,000 (including 185,000 pure sales), making it Smith's first album to top the chart and his highest opening sales in the United States.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"The Thrill of It All" received generally positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, the album received an average score of 72 based on 16 reviews.

Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph gave the album four stars, and was highly positive about it and Smith's vocals, calling them "supernatural", saying: "The Thrill of It All doesn't just wallow in love's misery, it practically drowns in the stuff. Its 10 songs are almost unrelentingly miserable, self-absorbed and self-pitying, verging on the lachrymose and sentimental (as lovers in the midst of a break-up often are). The instrumentation is understated piano and strings blended with just the occasional hint of contemporary hip-hop effects. At times, Smith's lyrics display a slightly clunking prosaicness. There's not much poetry in lines such as 'real love is never a waste of time' or 'there’' no insurance to pay for the damage'. Yet it all hits home, because Smith makes every note sound like a matter of life and death. 'Him' is the album’s centrepiece, a gospel drama addressed to a judgmental 'father', insisting on Smith's right to love whom he chooses. It is a kind of hymn to Him, and as the choir powers up it gains a righteous glory."

Andy Gill from The Independent also gave a four-star review, and shared in the positivity about the album, remarking: "Smith's voice remains a thing of wonder throughout."

Will Hermes for Rolling Stone also gave a positive four-star review, and said: "Doubling down on his magnificent, gender-nonconforming voice while pushing his songcraft forward, Smith's second LP knights one of the mightiest, most expressive vocalists of his generation."

In another positive review Nick Levine from NME compared Smith to Adele in his review of the album, stating: "Both have become enormously successful by singing emotional ballads that connect with huge numbers of people, and both are understandably reluctant to raise the tempo as a result. But like Adele's 25, this is an undeniably accomplished album that will, deservedly, shift a helluva lot of copies.

AllMusic's Andy Kellman was positive too in his three and a half-star review, and opined: "this album maintains a consistency and intensity that places it slightly above the debut."

Some reviews were more negative. Though making it his album of the week and giving it three stars, Alexis Petridis from The Guardian was more mixed in his review, writing: "There’s a certain power to "The Thrill of It All" but it could have been a much more potent album if they’d laid off the polish just a little."

Kitty Empire from The Observer was less enthusiastic in a more negative two-star review, claiming Smith was "moping by numbers" like Adele, and surmised: "There is little drama here, just plenty of shorthand (sad pianos), a total absence of risk."

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