Beck’s ‘Colors’ and Sam Smith’s ‘The Thrill Of It All’ made Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2017 list! Read below what the publication has to say about these two albums! See the full list, originally shared on RollingStone.com here!
10. Sam Smith, ‘The Thrill Of It All’ (available here: http://samsmith.world/TTOIAUS)
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.
42. Beck, ‘Colors’ (available here: http://beck.to/Colors)
After the mellow gold sounds of his folk-rock Grammy magnet Morning Phase, Beck’s latest pivots into of-the-moment big-box pop music. It’s not parody – though the baked old-school flow on the trippy trap track “Wow” is laugh-out-loud funny. Instead, it does something tougher, locating the sublime in the music many love to hate, while connecting its truths to a broader pop history. “Dear Life” nods to both the Beatles and late virtuoso Elliott Smith, and the title track apparently jacked its flow from Melle Mel’s “White Lines.” And “Dreams” glistens like a John Chamberlain car wreck sculpture: chrome-plated funk with twisted, pitch-shifted vocals and Seventies stadium rock flourishes. It makes mass-market pop science feel positively artisanal. W.H.