Sam Smith: Love Goes review – longing to let loose

Same as it ever was, heartbreak is bread and butter for the modern multimillion-selling pop star. Where Sam Smith’s last album plumbed the depths of a bad breakup, Love Goes hovers on the brink of the acceptance stage. Opener Young sets an audaciously spare tone, Smith’s voice doubled by vocoder ghosts as they resolve to “get a little wild, get a little high, kiss a hundred boys and not feel like I’m tied to them”.

And indeed there’s a refreshing, untethered lightness of mood and touch here, and more interesting music than Smith has lent their nervy vocal flourishes to before. You can hear the influence of Disclosure’s Guy Lawrence (joining Shellback/MXM, Steve Mac and Jimmy Napes on production) on the upbeat Diamonds and the plush and pulsing Dance (Til You Love Someone Else), while Burna Boy makes a great foil on the midnight moodiness of My Oasis. For the Lover That I Lost and Forgive Myself play it a little too safe, with melancholy piano and surface-deep strings, but the Labrinth-collaboration title track saves the day, Smith softly staccato over a looping little baroque piano motif and a subtle, pulsing beat. It’s nice to hear them taking a few small risks. Next, it’d be great to see Smith get really wild.

Watch the video for Sam Smith’s Diamonds


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