The Thrill of It All is simply what it is: An album made up of heartbreak and vocal talent.

It's the exact thing that made Adele the star she is today; there's no show-ponying, no tricky production, no gimmicks or shock lyrics, it's just storytelling and an impressive voice and that's something to be commended.

Sam Smith has really proven his writing chops on this release, especially considering - according to him - only four of the 10 songs on the standard release are about him.

Yet every song is incredibly personal and, without knowing intimate details about Sam Smith's life, it's almost impossible to tell which is which, particularly as a lot of them deal with themes of yearning and loss.

Advertisement

Say It First is particularly noteworthy as the first song fans will hear aside from the already released single Too Good At Goodbyes, and on it, Smith begs to hear "I love you" from a place of insecurity and hope.

There's the coming out song HIM, a song about friendship and support, a song about Smith's experiences in Iraq with the charity War Child, a song about family, and many songs about love and what comes after.

That said, there are some lyrical misses. Burning, which Smith has said is the most personal song on the album, is open and honest and full of heartbreak but also has the line "No insurance to pay for the damage / I've been burning up since you left".

The album's production is more emotive though, invoking old school blues and gospel vibes, and its filled with dramatic choral swells - appropriate considering this album seems to see Smith dealing with religion on songs like HIM and Pray.

He's brought in hip hop producers Malay and Timbaland - the latter of which can be clearly heard on Pray, which has an entirely different sound to the rest of the album.

And of course, Sam Smith's voice is just as powerful as ever - though his range is occasionally tested, his falsetto, control, and technical skill are all impressively on point.

Again; nothing on The Thrill of It All will surprise anyone, it's very much peak Sam Smith. But it's romantic, painfully honest, bleak as hell, and just as impressive.

Sam Smith, The Thrill Of It All

Artist: Sam Smith
Album: The Thrill Of It All
Label: Universal Music
Verdict: A breakup album to give Adele a run for her money.