All the tracks on Sam Smith’s ‘Gloria’, as ranked by us
David Levesley gives his opinion on the latest album from THE most talked-about artist of the moment
Tuesday 31 January 2023 By David Levesley
A full vibe shift is hard to do, and Sam Smith has been going through one in their music. From soulful chanteur to fully fledged queer, non-binary self-discovery, Smith’s last album Love Goes felt like someone trying to both appeal to the mums on Radio 2 who loved them before, and a queerer sound they wanted to define for themselves. On Gloria, Smith is closer than ever to finding the sound that they’ll be remembered for: someone who knows ballads and R&B as much as they know club music. From run-of-the mill to major tunes, here are all the tracks ranked by yours truly…
13. ‘Dorothy’s Interlude’
It’s an interlude. You knew it was going to be at the bottom.
12. ‘Hurting Interlude’
While I’m tired of clipped up vignettes on albums – you’re not The Velvet Rope – this is actually a really interesting choice of overtly queer found footage that transitions between the spiritual and the disco. We Stan.
11. ‘Gimme’ featuring Koffee and Jessie Reyez
It’s not for me. It’s all just a bit sickly, but Koffee’s contribution, and the Afrobeat vibes, are actually a really nice spiritual sequel to Smith’s excellent song with Burna Boy ‘My Oasis’.
10. ‘Perfect’ featuring Jessie Reyez
The sentiment of being loved at our lowest as well as our highest? We love to see it. But there’s something about this song that comes off as saccharine on an album where, otherwise, the self-love feels very actualised.
9. ‘Who We Love’ featuring Ed Sheeran
Listen. I’m not a Sheeran fan. But it’s undeniable that when he’s on a track, it’s slick. It’s a lovely ending to the album, even if I’ll never listen to it again.
I’m not sold on it, but it undeniably fits the brief of a camp-gothic, euphoric hit single. Although the song doesn’t feel like it needs a vocal as adept as Smith’s, and the two feel at odds.
A really gorgeous moment, bringing together two natural bedfellows: sodomy and Catholicism.
6. ‘How To Cry’
C’mon MTV Unplugged! Olivia Rodrigo’s impact continues to be felt as artists take a hot minute out of their albums to remind us they, too, had Myspace. It’s a lovely different place for Smith’s voice and style to go, however, and the lyrics are some of the best on the album.
5. ‘Six Shots’
Slinky, treacly, sexy music. Smith comes through as an Enby Miguel. Can’t wait to hear two people get down to this in the background of their OnlyFans video.
4. ‘Love Me More’
A wonderfully put together song about queer self-acceptance. It doesn’t change the world, but it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to.
3. ‘No God’
A queer spiritual track, dripping in early noughties R&B. It feels like something Alicia Keys could have written or an early-career Kanye might have produced.
2. ‘Lose You’
A standout song from Love Goes was one of Smith’s forays into queer club bangers: ‘Dance (’Til You Love Someone Else)’ – a show of how fluent he is in the language of queer nightlife when they want to be. Here, ‘Lose You’ does the same job: a richly produced song that could be a Eurovision entry in the best way.
1. ‘I’m Not Here To Make Friends’ (featuring Calvin Harris and Jessie Reyez)
Complete gag. As someone obsessed with Calvin Harris’s whole summer disco Malibu vibe, any time he decides to make someone into Jellybean I have to commend him, and he does some of his best work with Smith over and over again. This is a complete bop, and I hope we’ll be hearing it all summer long.