Sam Smith returns with more emotion and honesty about love

Smith continues to merge music about heartbreaks with dance anthems.

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Courtesy of Billboard

Joshua Flores, Staff Writer

In recent years, Sam Smith has emerged as an up-and-coming artist who tackles serious subject matter, while also including a number of fun, catchy tunes to keep on repeat. In their latest album “Love Goes,” Smith details a number of blunt, tragic songs about losing the one you love, but also the healing that comes from self-love. With great variety, “Love Goes” makes sure to handle relatable, emotional material, while also giving some relief through upbeat numbers featuring a variety of famous voices. 

REDEFINING A GENRE

When thinking of pop music, sugarcoated, surface-level music comes to mind. But with Smith’s latest, listeners are challenged to journey with them as they confront the pain of loving someone. As the chill of winter approaches, Smith taps into this cold, often lonely season to mend their wounds as they boldly expose their insecurities and hurts. 

Even though this album seems a bit conflicted in tone and variety, Smith seems to collect so many different emotions and stories about love into this single album—illustrating both the highs and lows of falling in and out of love. For some, this frequent role shifting from the extremely happy to the almost depressing moments of love may be a bit hard to follow, though for loyal fans of Smith, “Love Goes” returns to the beautiful, eerie emotion behind their passion and message for diverse listeners. 

TRAGIC AND RELATABLE 

The very first song on the album, “Young” begins Smith’s journey of self-discovery as they sing about the struggles of being young and the ways people can numb themselves to simply get through the day. Not only do they focus on their own personal struggles, but Smith also confronts their sexuality and what it means to navigate multiple painful, fleeting relationships. 

Kids Again” seems to take a similar point of view, with Smith navigating the complications of life and longing for what once was—their youth. They mention how everything in life feels complicated and he feels the weight and pain of “never being [a] kid again.” Relatable and nostalgic, Smith takes listeners through the difficulty of growing up and wishing for the levity of adolescence, “leaving the past behind.” 

Smith also reflects on the past in the aching, moving ballad “For The Lover That I Lost.” This song depicts the end of a relationship like a funeral—a loss and something put to rest. They describe “laying a dozen roses” as they move on and mourn their past relationship, something important, but dead. 

While Smith spends a great deal of the album dealing with emotional trauma and the ways relationships have left him bruised, they also include a few upbeat songs to help balance the weighty emotional material. 

Dancing with a Stranger” changes the tone of the album and focuses on rebirth and new beginnings—finding something new in the wake of loss. Smith sings about casual encounters with strangers and dancing away the pain of life, being open to new possibilities and relationships. 

One of the most memorable songs on the album, “Forgive Myself” helps to merge the two, remaining hopeful, but also focused on self-improvement and unpacking the mistakes of the past. Dealing with the ghosts of their past and those they loved before, Smith allows listeners to follow their experiences of self-love and understanding as they speak of human imperfection and the need for “forgive[ness].” 

“Love Goes” is a complex assortment of songs that both challenge and entertain. Filled with raw emotion and a number of songs that are certain to make your next playlist, Smith helps add complexity and honesty to pop music, examining their own struggles to release a positive, yet heartbreaking new album to help mend broken hearts. 

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