Sam Smith, 'Diamonds': Song You Need to Know - Rolling Stone
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Song You Need to Know: Sam Smith, ‘Diamonds’

The Grammy-winner who catapulted into fame as a balladeer six years ago teases album three with a confident farewell to a no-good ex

Sam Smith is reborn. At least that’s how it sounds on their new single “Diamonds” — three minutes and 34 seconds of catharsis.

A little over a year ago, the London-bred singer/songwriter, whose pronouns are they/them, shared on Twitter that they’d spent the preceding year and a half in therapy, describing that stretch as the “most challenging time” of their life so far.

“I’ve watched and read so much over the last six months to try and make sense of all the mess in my head,” Smith added at the time. “Tried to find ways to organise all of my problems so that they are bound and organised into folders and boxes, so that they will never haunt me or effect me again.” Smith, who is now 28, said that they only recently realized they were “enough” and that “trying to change and seek perfection and a life of no pain, only causes more pain.”

You can hear those realizations in “Diamonds.” Smith sings of a lying lover who cared more about the star’s fame and material goods than their heart. “Have it all, rip our memories off the wall, all the special things I bought,” they coo on the first verse. “They mean nothing to me anymore.” A series of rhythmic snaps kick off the pre-chorus, and the listener starts to realize that what could have been a signature ballad is actually a dance-floor anthem. Smith tells the mystery man from their past to go ahead and take their money, insisting that they’ll prove just how little they now care. A catchy bass line comes in just in time for the chorus. By the time the second verse rolls around, the song’s confident rhythm section is joined by a funky guitar riff that makes the listener want to body-roll their blues away.

“Diamonds” is a bright and brazen “fuck you” to anyone who’s ever hindered their partner’s growth. Co-producer Shellback’s involvement was likely integral here, given the collaborator’s impressive ability to amplify joy — just take his work on Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” for examples.

If the rest of Love Goes —  Smith’s new album, due October 30th — is anything like this song, fans are in for this singer’s most uplifting project to date.

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.

In This Article: Sam Smith, Song You Need to Know


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