When I was younger, the music I listened to consisted of optimistic, happy tunes.
As I have matured and grown, so has my music taste. I find myself incessantly listening to more despairing music—not the slow kind, but instead, the upbeat, fast-paced music with the secret message that truly reveals how sad and despondent the artist is.
I blame most of the fact that I enjoy sad music on Sam Smith. Their album, Love Goes, appeals perfectly to my taste in music—as have all of their past albums.
This album heavily reminded me of their last album, The Thrill of It All which Smith released in 2018. While I still listen to my record of their previous album, I find myself rather wanting to come back to their newest album.
Their album, consisting of seventeen songs, six being previously released singles, is a perfect representation of loneliness and pure sadness. While nobody enjoys these plain, sorrowful feelings, Smith makes their best effort at the album being relatable to their listeners. After listening to all of the songs, it is obvious I have become partial to some.
In the song “To Die For,” a small voice welcomes the listener and gives a quick glimpse of what the song, and the whole album, will be about.
“It is if everyone dies alone. Does that scare you?”
“I don’t want to die alone.”
These few simple sentences set the tone for the rest of the song, as Smith continues to sing about how they simply want someone to love; someone “to die for.”
The music video for “To Die For” begins with a woman walking up and embracing her significant other while a salon head, supposedly embodying Smith, sorrowfully watches copious couples and sings these lyrics with monotone expressions.
While the overall representation and tone of this album are despairing, Smith collaborates with many popular artists such as Burna Boy, Demi Lovato, Normani, Calvin Harris, and Labrinth.
The opening song, “Love Goes,” is a collaboration between Smith and Labrinth. It begins with a soft piano melody and then adds in the bass—one of Labrinths strong suits—and continues along the path of adding more bass drops, while continuing with the soft piano in the background.
The music stays constantly upbeat and happy-sounding, but when the listener takes a deeper look, it is evident Smith is trying to show how lonely they are feeling.
After the sadness of the past songs, Smith ends the album on a high note with my personal favorite: “I’m Ready.” This song is a collaboration with Demi Lovato. Smith sings about how they have overcome their sadness, and how they are ready to find the one.
The song continues to keep the cheerful tone, but it is noticeable how much more confident Smith sounds in this song. They use their whole voice, truly singing from their heart, and giving hope to listeners that they can be ready, too.
While the song may be somewhat repetitive, it becomes a good kind of repetitive. Switching from Smith’s low, full voice to Lovato’s higher, confident voice. Both artists sing the chorus and then switch to singing “I’m ready for someone to love me.”
Smith has never failed to produce touching music with strong messages. They always manage to incorporate the important sense of belonging, almost giving the listeners a sense of not feeling alone.
In Love Goes, Smith seemed ready to leave the listeners with hope, and reassurance that their feelings are valid, but only temporary.