- 30 Oct 20
English pop crooner returns with introspective break-up album.
Across two chart-topping albums, lovelorn ballads have proved to be Sam Smith's bread-and-butter. Love Goes, their long-delayed third album, finds the English singer leaning into their natural inclination towards the melancholic more heavily than ever.
The breakup album is not always an easy one to get right in the world of pop – combining stripped-back musings on heartbreak with just the right amount of upbeat dancing-through-the-pain numbers. And while Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa have delivered big, dazzling pop records this year, offering much welcomed shots of bright confidence in the midst of uncertainty, the balance Sam attempts to strike on Love Goes sways overwhelmingly towards the darkness.
Of course, there's a reason Sam has built up a reputation as the pop crooner of their generation – these are undoubtedly well-crafted, well-executed songs. But for the most part, they're crossing familiar terrain, with sweeping, cinematic compositions that find Sam musing on lost love and regret.
Sam's more recent forays into disco-flavoured dance-pop sounds – such as their 'I'm Ready' collaboration with Demi Lovato, included here as a bonus track – point to a much more interesting direction in their work. Similarly, the title track, featuring Labrinth, hints at the potential for combining Sam's trademark vulnerability with production that truly pushes their sound into unexpected new territories.