Sam Smith – Love Goes

Love Goes

Sam Smith

2020 – Pop


On his third studio album, British singer Sam Smith dares to go beyond sad ballads and piano songs, delivering a decent pop record with synthesizers and memorable hooks.

For a while, every time you heard that Sam Smith had released new music, you could predict what you would hear from that new piece of sound. It would probably be him, sitting at a syrup piano, singing a serenade about a broken heart or break-up with their powerful falsetto vocals. However, all that changed when they released two singles last year, “How Do You Sleep” and “Dancing With A Stranger,” in which they sparked a “New Sam.” Now, Smith no longer looked so sad, crying with tears rolling over the keys of the piano, but rather, dancing to choreographies like we never thought and singing, “I’m with somebody new/I’m dancing with a stranger.” They was shedding their skin, reinventing himself but without losing their essence. Their new album, Love Goes, is the result of this process.

Love Goes, in a simple way, can be defined as Sam Smith’s almost ideal balance. Here, on their new album, they reinvents himself, betting on different styles and genres ― as they spoke on a social network about the album’s production period, “The last two years have been the most experimental time of my life, personally but also musically.” ­­­­­­­— but also, they improves, to a large extent, their greatest qualities of their previous works: the sad ballads of piano. Of course, in both cases, Sam is flawed, seems stuck in the same cliché lyrics and has made questionable choices, but for the most part they seems to be finding their way into an even sharper sound.

The high points of the album are those in which Smith seems to want to break with their predictable past and decides to deliver a different sound than they and their fans were used to, seeming to be moving towards something more original. “Diamonds,” which would probably have been a generic ballad in the past, is an almost electronic track with Smith’s remixed vocals and catchy synthesizers while they sings about a guy who was only with him for their money. Of course, it’s not a perfect track, nor a very surprising one, but it shows Sam’s strong artistic evolution. Fortunately this feeling of change is found in other songs, such as in “Dance (‘Til You Love Someone Else),” where Smith seems to find an almost perfect sound for him, in “So Serious,” where they delivers a generic but very entertaining track, and in “Kids Again,” one of the best on the album, where they hovers over an aesthetic of echoes and strings from the 70s/80s, singing about maturity ― actually, a really impressive song.

As mentioned earlier, in addition to those songs in which Smith tries to deliver something, as they said, “experimental,” there are still tracks that show that they still believes that certain things can only be said through a sad-piano song. However, fortunately, they manages to improve some of these and deliver something really well-dosed. The best example is “Another One,” a track that mixes touches of a usual ballad and some notes on synthesizers and manages to create something really well balanced that, at the same time, sounds new and classic. Also, the track delivers the best lyrics on the album, with Sam painting vivid scenes. They sings, “I met your boyfriend, he’s beautiful/Please treat him like he’s someone,” and concludes, “I don’t want him to hurt like me.” Likewise, at the end of the album, “Forgive Myself,” appears as a really sad song, probably the saddest one. Beside a piano, Sam launches powerful voices over failed attempts to forget someone. They starts, “‘Til I wake up in the morning, you’re all that I see,” and finishes later, “Now my heart is broken and I’m crying on the floor/And every part of me hopes you walk through the door.”

However, in some cases, Sam’s willingness to change was not enough to save the songs, or the path they chose was not the best one. The opener, “Young,” shows Sam singing about the mistakes they made when they was young, however, it also shows him with the desire to be young again, when everything seemed simpler. The problem is Smith’s voice, which sounds strange thanks to soft synthetic effects ― reminiscent of some of Taylor Swift’s reputation tracks. It would have been much better if they had opted for something totally crystalline. “My Oasis,” with Burna Boy, in turn, despite being a more different point on the album, is a track that each time sounds more and more tiring. Finally, even though “For the Lover That I Lost” is a beautiful and well-orchestrated song and “Breaking Hearts” is well balanced between Smith’s faces, both seem to come from their older works. They’re not bad, they’re just not interesting.

In the end, Loves Goes ends up being Sam Smith’s best project to date. Despite the missing and flawed points, the album and Smith manages to convey the idea that they want change. Like the title track, “Loves Goes,” the album has several flaws, however, the intentions of delivering different things show effort. In the case of songs, some transitions and the lyrics disappoint, however, the different faces and the progression end up being very impressive. It is worth mentioning some bonus tracks on the album, such as “Dancing With A Stranger,” a very good track that should be on the album, and “How Do You Sleep.” Unfortunately, most of these look like wallpapers, like “I’m Ready,” with Demi Lovato, which is a weak and lazy track for both careers. Of course, Smith is not there, but they is on the way to something better than their older works.

LISTEN ON: Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal

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