For his sophomore album, Sam Smith did not come to play. He’s puling out all the stops to get us ready for the follow-up project to his smash debut, In The Lonely Hour. For his next feat, the singer and frequent collaborator Jimmy Napes have teamed up with the Chairman of the Boards, Timbaland, to give us a religious experience with the song “Pray.”
On “Pray,” Sam has decided to take his melancholy vibes about to God in hopes of getting over his terminally sad outlook on love and life. “I’m young and foolish / I made bad decisions / Block out the news / Turn my back on religion,” he sings at the beginning of the song, letting you know he’s a fool from jump. However, like a prodigal son, he realizes the folly of his ways when he sings, “lift my head up and the world is on fire,” deciding to get down on his knees for a glimmer of hope, admitting “everyone prays in the end.” The gospel-esque sound bed features bass guitar, organ, drums and strings with a few Timbaland’s quirky ad-libs. Like his last single “Too Good at Goodbyes,” Smith utilizes a choir to add some nice harmonies and a good bit of depth to the song.
Overall, the track doesn’t meet the high expectations of a collaboration of this magnitude. Smith, Napier and Timbo do their thing, no doubt, but when you put these three names together, the expectations are super high. The final results are fair to middling. It sounds as if the artists combined an unused Timbaland reference track and an unused production track from Smith’s last album. It's not bad, but we’re not sure if this track will make fans say “Hallelujah” or fall asleep in the pews.
“Pray” is the second single from Sam Smith’s highly anticipated sophomore album, now entitled The Thrill Of It All. The 10-track project is scheduled to drop on November 3rd and is rumored to feature collaborations with Clean Bandit, Frank Ocean, YEBBA and Adam Lambert. We hope and pray that he has more interesting and soulful songs on the collection. While we wait to find out, if you want to see the man of the loneliest hour on tour, you can visit his website to see when he’ll pull up to a city near you.