tue 24/11/2020

Album: Sam Smith - Love Goes | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Sam Smith - Love Goes

Album: Sam Smith - Love Goes

A self-reflective break-up album that's the perfect sound for lockdown

Sam Smith's new album Love Goes

Sam Smith’s third album is kind of perfect for a miserable autumn amidst a global pandemic. It’s reflective, it’s morose and it attempts disco-fun but can’t quite muster the energy to get its heels on.

Sam Smith’s third album is kind of perfect for a miserable autumn amidst a global pandemic. It’s reflective, it’s morose and it attempts disco-fun but can’t quite muster the energy to get its heels on.

Love Goes was supposed to be released six months ago and called To Die For, but given how the world went to hell in a handbasket around that time and we all became largely obsessed with death, they (Smith came out as non-binary last year and uses the pronouns they/them), decided to put the album on hold (as we did, life) and re-name it in a more sensitive manner.

The album is morose, but beautifully so – perfectly capturing the sound of lockdown. We're all a bit despairing on account of missing life and Smith’s soft sound of heartbreak mixed with hope is comforting somehow (“Another One” – a killer break up song that moves from self pity to strong being case in point). And let’s be honest, we'd all like to "get a little wild, get a little high, and kiss a hundred boys and not be judged for it” right now – as penned in the a cappella first track, “Young”.

There are some cheesy moments and melodrama: “Breaking Hearts” deals mostly in lyrical cliché, finger clicks and choral “oohs”; “For The Lover That I Lost” is a romantic piano ballad of memories relived through rose tinted specs and “Forgive Myself” is a similarly reflective lesson in learning to move past sadness and yearning. “Kids Again” has a Take That acoustic flavour, and talks about the grappling with growing up that happens in your twenties.

But “Diamonds” has a soulful boogie groove, with a strong beat and a sassy hit back at a gold-digger ex, with lines: “Take all the money you want from me, Hope you become what you want to be, Show me how little you care, You dream of glitter and gold, My hеart's already been sold.” Similarly “Dance (Till You Love Someone Else)” has a discoklub vibe, with synthy electro vocal distortion rubbing up against melancholy sentiment and minor chords. “My Oasis” featuring Burna Boy is a unique blend of thumping bassline, soft hustle and flamenco guitar. Hit singles “Dancing With A Stranger (with Normani)” and “How Do You Sleep” nestle confidently at the back of the album speaking of the gossip column fodder that makes this a break-up album.

“So Serious” sees a playful take on feeling down, as they sing “put your hands in the air if you sometimes ever get sad like me”. It’s a fresh attitude to go mainstream with emotional wellbeing messaging, the effects of lockdown having had an effect on us all with Smith no exception (quick reminder that mental health issues can affect anyone no matter how rich, famous and successful you might be) – something that’s mirrored by the unique combination of strength and fragility in their vocal style.

Love Goes is inspired and it’s genuine. It’s a confident declaration of how the passion and obsession of love for another can parallel the importance self-love – whether our hearts are breaking or we’re breaking down, we all have the ability to pick ourselves up and move on.

We're all a bit despairing on account of missing life

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters