Sam Smith: The Thrill of It All review – moping by numbers

(Capitol)

You assume that the title of Sam Smith’s long-awaited second album – The Thrill of It All – is a slightly weary one, weighing up the emotional cost of partying. Smith said as much on the BBC the other night.

Actual thrills are scarce on these 10 tracks, which fulfil the brief of following up a hit album with a bankable sequel. These are songs dealing with heartbreak, coming out and the parlous state of the world in time-honoured, mainstream fashion: by making the sounds so palatable that any real sense of suffering is lost.

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