Sam Smith is feeling the effects of 2017 in his new single, “Pray.” Hitting the studio with Timbaland, Smith and the R&B producer combine their signature sounds to create a sonic experience that is layered with emotion.
Opening with a piano beat that ends with a Kanye-esque “Huh” before launching into Smith’s soaring vocals, the singer takes stock of his surroundings, singing “I’m young and I’m foolish, I’ve made bad decisions / I block out the news, turn my back on religion / Don’t have no degree, I’m somewhat naïve / I’ve made it this far on my own / But lately, that shit ain’t been gettin’ me higher / I lift up my head and the world is on fire / There’s dread in my heart and fear in my bones / And I just don’t know what to say.”
Timbaland’s fingerprints are all over the song, with a urgency in the beat that turns the song into a cinematic experience. The combination of a full choir, string orchestra and pounding drums makes for a powerful track that is a little bit R&B, a little bit pop, and a whole lot of powerful. If the James Bond franchise is looking for another Oscar-winning theme, Smith and Timbaland may have just delivered it.
In addition to today’s new single, Smith has also announced the title and release date of his highly anticipated sophomore effort and his upcoming tour. The Thrill Of It All will be released on November 3 and feature 10 new songs, including lead single “Too Good At Goodbyes.”
Smith will kick off his North American tour in Toronto on June 18, 2018. The British singer will play a total of five Canadian dates, including Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
Smith, who is set to be the musical guest on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, sat down for an in-depth interview this week with Beats 1 host Zane Lowe to discuss the impact of his Grammy-winning debut album In The Lonely Hour and the making of The Thrill Of It All. The pair also discussed seeing drunk celebs at the Grammys, Smith living in a haunted house, and who’s on the British singer’s list of obsessions, with Smith admitting he’s a Harmonizer.
Check out the full tracklisting for The Thrill Of It All below.
1. Too Good At Goodbyes
2. Say It First
3. One Last Song
4. Midnight Train
7. Baby, You Make Me Crazy
8. No Peace feat. Yebba