By Michael Alford III
Published: September 14th, 2017
When we think of Sam Smith, most people immediately think of his album, “In the Lonely Hour.” In this all too familiar R&B album, featuring songs “Stay with Me” and “I’m Not the Only One,” Smith takes us on a melancholy trip through heartbreak. Having not released new music since his single for “Spectre,” with the poignant “Writing’s On the Wall,” anticipating fans have long been awaiting his return.
Now, they can finally be at ease. Smith released his new single on Friday, September 8, entitled “Too Good at Goodbyes.” The song features a slow-playing piano that allows each soulfully sung word to sink into the mind. The accompaniment of finger snaps and softly hit drums compliment the heartfelt chorus, as if to create a sort of redemptive phase in the song’s life. For the next three minutes, the listener is pulled into the song and gains a surreal experience of what Smith felt during his relationship.
Prior to his release, Smith hinted at some new work, and in the same post, he thanked his fans for being patient and allowing him the year to “escape into [his] mind and write music freely.” Smith has been instrumental in taking his fans on an emotional rollercoaster. His songs bring out the plethora of emotions that men feel during a difficult break up. Keeping in scope with his signature style to strum difficult feelings during a heartbreak, in this third album, it’s possible we may see another side to him.
Take Adele for example. In her album, “21,” we see the heartbreak and how she is recollecting the memories of what happened in her relationship. Then in her next album a few years later, “25,” we see her reminiscing and officially moving on from what happened.
In this, what Apple Music’s editor’s notes call, “ode to breakups,” Smith is, for the most part, saying that the person leaving him isn’t hurting him as much as it used to. Lyrics such as “And every time you leave me, the quicker these tears dry,” and “I’m just protectin’ my soul,” suggest that Smith is indeed getting over the pain that he’s felt.
Unlike Adele, Smith is not putting forth a completely new sound. During an interview with Apple Music, Smith talked about how his new album will explore greater depths of emotions following “In the Lonely Hour.” Smith stated “I’m putting my heart even more out on the line. I’m going even deeper.” Thus, showing he has healed overtime from the past, he is reliving the situation and is going to translate it into an upcoming album.
Smith may not encounter a large growth in his fan base because of his choice to keep the albums similar, however, his already-established fan base is sure to enjoy his new music. “In the Lonely Hour” went seven-times platinum in the UK and twice platinum in the US, making the bar for Smith’s next album set pretty high. The official album release date has yet to be determined, but it is expected very soon.