Sam Smith decides to rewrite his narrative.
When Sam Smith opens his Adele-y ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’ with “you must think that I’m stupid,” it feels almost like it is targeted at the listener as much as the subject of the song. With his debut album, Smith managed to land himself with the label of a lovelorn puppy of a human who no one wanted to love. Here, Smith decides to rewrite his narrative and, in turn, renders himself a much more sympathetic character. Smith’s songs aren’t necessarily about intricately-told stories and amazing lyrics, they’re pop songs after all. They’re more about simple words that Smith can take and extract every ounce of emotion out of. Here, where Smith has moved on from the victimized stance of songs like ‘Stay With Me,’ we get a feeling for someone more in control of their situation. Smith moves from the quavering, hushed delivery of “You must think that I’m stupid/ You must think that I’m a fool” to the titular lyric “I’m way too good at goodbyes,” with a voice that seems to be drawn straight out of the pit of his chest. By the second time the pre-chorus comes around, when Smith sings “it’s sad but it’s true,” he no longer sounds on the verge of tears, but instead like he’s stating an inevitable fact that he has come to terms with. Following this, the “no’s” in the bridge almost sound joyful. It’s a fine song, and a welcome evolution of the Sam Smith character.