Sam Smith, ‘Burning’ | Track Review
Sam Smith continues to ‘bring the goods’ on “Burning,” the third single from his highly-anticipated sophomore album, ‘The Thrill of It All.’
After a three-year hiatus, breakout British pop singer Sam Smith returns with his highly-anticipated sophomore album, The Thrill of It All. The Thrill of It All follows up his Grammy-winning, 2014 effort, In the Lonely Hour. That album spawned hits including “Stay with Me” and “I Know I’m Not the Only One.” The Thrill of It All, comprised of 14 tracks, has already spawned a hit single with “Too Good at Goodbyes.” Additionally, Smith impresses with singles “Pray,” and “Burning.”
“Burning” commences beautifully, with Sam Smith singing the chorus a cappella.
“I’ve been burning, yes, I’ve been burning / Such a burden, this flame on my chest / No insurance to pay for the damage / Yeah, I’ve been burning up since you left.”
After setting the tone, piano accompaniment enters, performing an interlude. Normally, this interlude would serve as the introduction, but Smith flips the script. On the first verse, Smith is emotional, but in the same token, matches the poise of the production. On the pre-chorus, he begins to pick up more steam, leading into the stunning chorus.
“Funny how time goes by / Had respect for myself / That river ran dry / You reach the limit / I wasn’t enough / it’s like the fire replaced all the love.”
On the second verse, Smith is more liberal with his vocal performance. By the second pre-chorus, he begins to hit his ‘sweet spot,’ flaunting his sick falsetto. Essentially, by the final chorus, “it’s on,” with Smith letting loose, supported by soulful backing vocals.
All in all, Sam Smith delivers once again on “Burning.” It is another ballad, which is what Smith excels at. It’s not an exciting record per se, but it’s well-performed, well-written, and ultimately, well-rounded. Short, simple, and sweet.
Sam Smith • The Thrill of It All • Capitol • Release: 11.3.17
Photo Credit: Capitol