Top 10 Songs by Sam Smith

As one of the most recognizable voices in pop music today, Sam Smith continues to carve out their own identity. Smith’s signature trademark is delivering bops that are interwoven with sadness and self-reflection, the lyrics often telling a story of overcoming pain to find a piece of yourself on the other side.

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Whether it’s their smash hit “Unholy” or the soft-spoken “Lighthouse Keeper,” Smith proves they musically know no bounds. Below, we look at 10 of Smith’s best songs.

1. “Love Me More

Smith takes an honest look in the mirror with “Love Me More.” On the track, the singer poses the important question have you ever felt like being somebody else? in the opening line, setting the stage for an introspective number. Slowly burning away at insecurities and self-doubt, while acknowledging that he needed to feel every sting to find self-worth, Smith explores the journey of finding freedom in living with sorrow. This positive-self-image bop is a message we all need to hear and is one of Smith’s most inspiring songs.

Have you ever felt like being somebody else?
Feeling like the mirror isn’t good for your health?
Every day I’m tryin’ not to hate myself
But lately, it’s not hurtin’ like it did before
Maybe I am learning how to love me more

2. “Unholy”

“Unholy” is left of center for Smith, but in the best way. The signal of a new artistic direction for Smith, “Unholy” is dirty and gritty in an alluring way, taking Smith’s work to new heights. It’s impossible not to groove when this gritty beat greets your ears, as duet parter Kim Petras is a welcomed addition. Smith and Petras made history as the first openly non-binary artist and transgender artist, respectively, to have a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, setting a new standard for the superstar singer.

Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot
At the body shop, doing something unholy
He’s sat back while she’s dropping it, she be popping it
Yeah, she put it down slowly
Oh-ee-oh-ee-oh, he left his kids at
Ho-ee-oh-ee-ome, so he can get that
Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot
At the body shop, doing something unholy

3. “I’m Not the Only One”

One of Smith’s biggest hits is also one of their best. Tinged with a doo-wop sound, this jazz-leaning song packs in plenty of melancholy as Smith sorrowfully sings I can’t believe you let me down / But the proof’s in the way it hurts. Smith stays on the theme of having to confront hard truths placed on them by unfaithful people, knowing full well their partner is seeing someone else behind their back. Smith makes heartbreak sound beautiful on this track that became one of their biggest hits, charting in multiple countries and hitting No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

You say I’m crazy
‘Cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done
But when you call me baby
I know I’m not the only one

4. “How Do You Sleep?”

Smith goes through the intense waves of emotion as they face the hard truth that their partner has been cheating in this hit. The first verse finds them at the end of an emotional storm of tears and self-hate, while the chorus has them confronting the disloyal lover vowing I’m hoping that my love will keep you up tonight. The earworm melody doesn’t diminish the piercing lyrics in what’s becoming one of Smith’s signature tracks that peaked inside the top 30 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.

Baby, How Do You Sleep when you lie to me?
All that shame and all that danger
I’m hoping that my love will keep you up tonight
Baby, How Do You Sleep when you lie to me?
All that fear and all that pressure
I’m hoping that my love will keep you up tonight

5. “Gloria”

Though Smith is known for releasing radio-friendly pop songs, “Gloria” almost feels like a hymnal. This humble tune sounds like a Gregorian chant put to thoughtful lyrics penned by Smith and Foy Vance.

A chorus of voices unite behind Smith’s, lighting up such potent images of demons on my shoulder / Monsters in my head and sparkling like dynamite. If you listen closely, many of Smith’s songs carry messages of self-acceptance, and “Gloria” is a beautiful example of that.

Be yourself so loud tonight (mmm, so loud)
They’ll hear you from the stars (they will hear you from)
Sparkling like dynamite (sparkle)
If that is who you are (it’s who you are)
A hymn for Gloria, Gloria

6. “Writing’s on the Wall”

Smith’s voice is perfect for serenading, which they proved with “Writing’s on the Wall.” Here, Smith delivers one of their finest vocal performances, the powerful orchestra balancing their gentle, yet stunning voice as they croon, I want to feel love run through my blood / Tell me, is this where I give it all up? / For you, I have to risk it all / ‘Cause the writing’s on the wall. The theme song for the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre, “Writing’s on the Wall” was named Best Original Song at both the 2016 Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

If I risk it all
Could you break my fall?
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here, I’m suffocating
I want to feel love run through my blood
Tell me, is this where I give it all up?
For you, I have to risk it all

‘Cause the writing’s on the wall

7. “Diamonds”

Don’t let the irresistible groove distract you from the searing lyrics wherein Smith confronts a disloyal lover. Here, he explores a relationship where the other party placed more value on material possessions than the love Smith had for them. Smith’s voice is intoxicating as he faces the harsh reality, telling their ex they don’t need fine objects to heal and is moving on just fine singing material love won’t fool me / When you’re not here I can breathe. The beat will make you want to move while the lyrics will have you cheering on Smith as they own their power.

My diamonds leave with you
You’re never gonna hear my heart break
Never gonna move in dark ways
Baby, you’re so cruel
My diamonds leave with you

8. “I’m Not Here to Make Friends”

Continuing on the vibe of “Unholy,” Smith delivers more pop gold with “I’m Not Here to Make Friends.” There’s a lot of spirit in this song, between the dance-floor-ready melody and Smith being clear and honest that they’re looking for a connection deeper than just friends as they propose put your aura into mine. Smith will have you shouting I’m not here to make friends / I need a lover along with them, as the way the melody meets the lyrics create a euphoric feeling, making for a new gem in Smith’s repertoire.

‘Cause I’m not here to make friends
No, I’m not here to make friends, yeah
‘Cause I’m not here to make friends
I need a lover, I need a lover 

9. “Lay Me Down”

Smith knows how to deliver a devastating vocal, which they demonstrate with “Lay Me Down.” This heartbreaking piano ballad explores the true love they had for someone who’s since passed, leaving them in a state of incurable sorrow. Smith spends the entire song conveying the endless longing they feel and the weight of missing someone you love, serving as one of their saddest, yet most touching songs.

Told me not to cry when you were gone
But the feeling’s overwhelming, it’s much too strong
Can I lay by your side, next to you?
And make sure you’re alright
I’ll take care of you
And I don’t want to be here if I can’t be with you tonight

10. “The Lighthouse Keeper”

Smith only needs soft orchestration and their humble voice to convey this pure display of love. Here, they take on the role of being a guiding light, serving as a beacon for a loved one navigating the storms of life. On the other side is Smith with arms wide open, while encouraging them not to resist the challenges along the way. It’s a peaceful song that brings the pop star down-to-earth, making for an underrated gem.

When you set sail on your journey
And happiness is far away
Love will guide you ’til the morning
Lead your heart down to the bay
Don’t resist the rain and storm
I’ll never leave you lost at sea
I will be your lighthouse keeper
Bring you safely home to me
I will be your lighthouse keeper
Bring you safely home

Photo by Toni Anne Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

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