Breaking News: Bill Cosby Found Guilty of Drugging, Sexually Assaulting Andrea Constand

20 Best Pop Albums of 2017

Kesha, Harry, Taylor and more of the year in hooks

Load Previous
Sam Smith, 'The Thrill of It All'
20
4/20

4. Sam Smith, 'The Thrill of It All'

Sam Smith is a fluid soul man, with style channeling Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles alongside modern icons like Amy Winehouse and Adele. The follow-up to his massive In The Lonely Hour leads with That Voice, and what it lacks in the club beats that were his early signature (see Disclosure's "Latch"), it more than makes up for in dazzling, falsetto-barbed vocal pyrotechnics. The standout is "Him," an uplifting tear-jerker about queer love and cultural intolerance that, in its understated, gospel-charged way, is an LGBTQ civil rights anthem. It's the sound of a gay man intent on reaching a universal audience on his own terms, and succeeding handsomely. W.H.

Back to Top