PH concert finds musical bliss from Sam Smith’s romantic woes | Inquirer Entertainment

PH concert finds musical bliss from Sam Smith’s romantic woes

By: - Reporter
/ 12:10 AM October 21, 2018

Sam’s voice is pliable, allowing him to bend his hits’ melodies.

Heartache and anguish; loneliness and longing; ruminations over love lost—these are some of the things Sam Smith had written about in the past and delved into for his second album, “The Thrill of It All.” By the British crooner’s own admission, his music, at times, can get “a little bit depressing.”

Earlier this month, Sam brought his ongoing world tour of the same title to  SM Mall of Asia Arena. And while the night’s set did hew closely to such themes, never for a minute did the show feel bleak or overwrought.


Onstage, he delivered his songs—not as someone still inhabiting a space of sadness and self-pity—but as someone who can now look back at his past hardships with a smile. “All the tough things you have been dealing with … leave them at the door. I want us to sing together as loudly as we possibly can,” he told the crowd.


Sam’s singing style is unmistakably his: His tone is rich, slightly husky when he goes low, and he can seamlessly leap to his strong head tone, which he uses to express, yearning or desperation. More importantly, his voice is pliable, allowing him to bend the melodies of songs he has sung countless times, like “I’m Not the Only One” and “Lay Me Down.”

He keeps the crowd guessing, reining his voice in.

He kept the crowd guessing in “I’ve Told You Now” and “Midnight Train,” reining his voice in when he was expected to go all out. He has a flair for theatrics, too. In “Writing’s On the Wall”—the movie theme from the James Bond film, “Spectre,” that sounded more like a grandiose soliloquy than a song—he rode the dramatic ebbing and swelling of the orchestration.

The 26-year-old, Grammy-winning artist’s sound leans toward pop-soul, with a smattering of various styles: “Too Good at Goodbyes” is a midtempo anthem with a surging gospel choir; “Palace” featured blues guitar playing; the dance bop “Latch” was turned into a poignant piano ballad; the retro-inspired “One Last Song,” on the other hand, is a breezy jaunt with jazz and doo-wop flourishes.

Every so often, Sam churned out more dashing numbers, like “Omen,” a seductive, electro-house concoction sprinkled with flirtatious falsettos.

The funky mashup of “Restart” and “The Best Things in Life Are Free” had the pop star and his backup singers shuffling from side to side. In the glamorous, house ditty “Promises,” Sam served a bit of sass.

In “Stay with Me”—one of the closing songs of the show (mounted by MMI Live)—the fans fulfilled Sam’s wish: They sang their hearts out. “We all have been working so hard for this concert,” he said. “I didn’t want you leaving this place feeling down; I want you to leave feeling good and happy.”


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TAGS: concert, Sam Smith, The Thrill of It All

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