Sam Smith fans, lift your hands in exaltation. After three long years, the singer’s fourth studio album, Gloria, finally arrived on Friday (Jan. 27).
The new LP drops after almost a year of public preparations from Smith — the album’s first single, the tender “Love Me More,” arrived in April 2022. Smith then took TikTok by storm with their viral hit single “Unholy” featuring Kim Petras, marking Smith and Petras’ first No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Writing about the album on their Instagram back in October 2022, Smith shared that they were “feeling overwhelmed and emotional” about finally unveiling the set. “It has been magical in every way to make this piece of music, and by giving this record to you I am giving you part of my heart and soul,” they wrote. “Gloria got me through some dark times and was a beacon for me in my life. I hope it can be that for you.”
The new album charts Smith’s journey from heartbroken crooner to joyful pop superstar, with tracks detailing their self-image (“Perfect”), sex life (“I’m Not Here to Make Friends,” “Gimme”) and finally, learning to accept and love themselves (“Gloria”). Smith is joined on the album by Petras, Ed Sheeran, Jessie Reyez and Koffee as featured artists, while long-time collaborators Jimmy Napes, Stargate and ILYA helped Smith write and produce the project.
Speaking to Billboard for the August cover story in 2022, Smith explained that they wanted Gloria to bask in “queer joy of it all,” which meant taking a risk. “Maybe the music I make in the future won’t sit as well on the radio. It takes a bit of courage to maybe try something that maybe people aren’t going to like,” they said. “But I like it, and that’s all that matters.”
Stream Gloria here: