Sam Smith and his album "The Thrill of It All", a trip of no return

I knew the humble beginnings of Sam Smith at the beginning of this decade, I say "humble beginnings" not because they were bad, but because he seemed aimless, without a defined style and, above all, without a musical idea xof his own, rather he was a singer and composer who wanted to move in the direction that the wind would take him. I think I felt that the British public had the same reaction at that very time when only was known there, maybe I'm wrong and I lack the vision to discover unpolished diamonds, but that was my perception when he made his first appearances in "T in the Park ", in Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom. Fortunately for all of us who love music and we are anxiously waiting for a brilliant composer to come and offer us new things and not the typical interpreter of past successes, in 2014 his first album, In the Lonely Hour appeared and came before the eyes of the world a new star in the musical firmament. "I'm Not the Only One" and "Stay with Me" burst the market and all the people turned to see with curiosity who this shy and charming boy was. The marriage between Sam Smith and his audience was immediate thanks to that record. Of course, the industry, now, would make him walk on the clouds and would offer him anything they could to get the singer's preference, because commercial success went hand in hand. And so, it was, after trying everything and with few results in the rural community where he lived in England and later settled in London, he had finally found gold and fame. With all due respect, I believe that he occupied very soon the empty space left by George Michael after his death, all those who followed the one that has now become a legend, found in Sam Smith the perfect refuge and he has known to reciprocate. Regardless of whether some of his songs have very specific goals about the things that people in the gay community live and suffer, every one of his lyrics can be identified with the masses regardless of their preferences. It is universal and is prepared for everything that comes. And in 2017 he surprised us again with The Thrill of It All and after listening to him for more than a year in my car every time I drive, I am convinced that for the artist and his fans, this album marks a trip without return. He has the brand of quality in his heart and what will come will be the confirmation of a brilliant legacy for music lovers.


As I mentioned earlier, the universality of the topics that Sam Smith addresses in his work can apply to anyone in similar situations; in fact, making a comparison with different styles and poems, I can say that the lyrics of the singer are similar to all those that have origins in rural areas of many countries, rather than in urban areas. They do not resort to the artificial beautification of the words or to the prefabricated phrases of the composers who make songs to order or who obsess with the formulas that gave them good results in previous compositions, Sam Smith composes with the heart and the words come straight from that place, bluntly and with the truth in hand and, it is likely that there lies the secret of its success.The result is perfect: it goes straight to the heart of the listener, since normal people talk, think and feel the same way. Because of the familiarity I have with Mexican "ranchera" music, I have found passages in the lyrics of Sam Smith that recall the greatest composer of that style in Mexico: Jose Alfredo Jimenez. Take the bottle (of tequila?) and drink it until the end, light a cigarette and dedicate the last song for that ungrateful lover, are typical of the lyrics of that composer and the traditional music of Mexico. I understand that he will not be the only one with which many other connoisseurs can compare the lyrics of Sam Smith, since the honesty with which he composes is shared by many legends of international music. Mention aside and continuing with the theme of my country, it is worth mentioning that every time that Sam Smith visits Mexico, he is happy, according to his own words, visiting the "Zona Rosa" of Mexico City where, among other things, he can enjoy the anonymity and the tranquility of having a good mezcal in the bars of the area without anyone bothering him and having occasional talks with locals.


If the success of the lyrics of the songs in this album we add the musical style that was chosen to enrich them, things are placed at the level of the greatest; the sales of the album coupled with the success of their presentations in the world, reaffirm it. The musicalization of this work is the perfect vehicle that transports us to the state of mind that the author proposes. All the Soul compositions included in the album, plus the arrangement of voices, are the perfect companion for solitary nights, complemented by a whiskey, tequila or, your favorite drink and a cigar. Likewise, the long stretches of the road when we are alone allow us to listen and appreciate a friend who speaks to us or, in other cases, that voice becomes ours to help us say what we are sometimes unable to express by ourselves. The execution of the instruments is not violent, rather it is forceful and decisive, sweet, with personality and resorting to real people and not modern equipment that deceives everyone, so that the feeling is even more authentic and endearing, full of honesty. Even in some versions of the special edition of The Thrill of It All we can discover some small imperfections in both voice and rhythm, which makes it even more human, alive and made by living people and not by robots, which is appreciated in these times. After this, Sam Smith can no longer walk in the opposite direction, the record is a delicacy and the public has taken it as a flag, the course is plotted for him and his contributions to music will be expected by all, all the time.

By: Jorge Diaz

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