Sam Smith is obviously an extremely good singer—he has the sort of capital-G-‘Good’ voice that means he’ll always sell records. And much like the other Brit with a Big Voice, Adele, his songs tend to follow a certain blueprint, which goes something like: quiet, brooding verse, medium-sized chorus, slightly bigger verse, enormous chorus, gospel choir, chorus that could swallow you whole, chorus the size of the Grand Canyon, then the end.
His new song “Pray,” released today and produced by Timbaland (you can hear it in the drums), pretty much follows this structure. That’s not to say it’s bad—Smith’s voice, especially his baritone, is great. It’s just… predictable, which is a shame when there’s so much to work with.