Sam Smith releases “Gloria,” a testament to self discovery

Christina Judy, Staff writer

After the release of “Unholy” (featuring Kim Petras) stole the No. 2 position on the Billboard Hot 100, fans knew they would be excited for English singer and songwriter Sam Smith’s newest album release, “Gloria.”

The enchanting album dropped on Jan. 27, with remarks from Smith. They stated that “‘Gloria’ got me through some dark times and was a beacon for me in my life. I hope it can be that for you.”

‘Gloria’ is their fourth album and consists of 13 tracks with special artists coming on to feature for a few songs including, Ed Sheeran, Koffee, Calvin Harris and Jessie Reyez.

Smith’s albums have been a testament to their journey into self-discovery and the search for authentic love.

“The Lonely Hour” (2014) was an album that gave witness to their experience of unrequited love.

“Love Goes” (2020) sought to explore more profoundly their relational feelings but had trouble fully expressing the depth of their experiences, feelings, and ambitions for their audience.

“Gloria” came in as a full and open rendition of Smith’s genuine self and explained their self-discovery journey in a beautiful way.

The order of songs on their track list are brilliantly arranged. Beginning the album with “Love Me More,” it is a beautiful summary of the challenging road taken to attaining self-love and self-acceptance regardless of the judgments stemming from their external environment.

The first interlude that Smith put in their album, “Hurting Interlude,” was a tearjerker retrieved from a news interview from the 1970 New York Gay Pride march.

The interviewee expressed his sorrow and pain of losing love but not being able to turn to his family to be comforted because his kind of love was widely unaccepted.

Directly following that interlude was Smith’s “Lose You,” which is an ballad to holding onto a failing relationship because of the fear of the agony that would result from the ending of that relationship.

This duo gave a hopeful lifeline to those who have had a hard time sharing a love that is unaccepted and unrecognized by others.

Although most of Smith’s songs within “Gloria” have an up-beat rhythm and feel to them, there are a handful that revisit the old-style Sam Smith vocalization that we are all familiar with.

“How To Cry” is built from a strumming guitar and Smith’s powerful voice, a truly organic combination.

Their voice is filled with emotion as they tell the story of two clashing personalities going through a relationship.

This song is a soul-wrenching sing-a-long that fits one of the themes of “Gloria,” which is complexity.

This is an overarching theme that runs through every song on this album, but is captured perfectly in the last song, “Who We Love” (featuring Ed Sheeran). This is the perfect ending to Smith’s delightfully genuine piece of art because it carries a message of freedom throughout the chorus.

Now, I will not give away the lyrics because it is a song worth listening to for yourself.

However, the purpose is to encourage listeners to become their truest selves by following their hearts.