So, this kid’s music is not really our thing, but, you know, good for him for being young and out and having a hit record carried on the strength of his voice, which is quite remarkable.
This article http://www.thefader.com/2014/08/28/social-anxiety-sam-smith is better than most writing we’ve seen wrestling with these issues (in contrast, we did not like the Gawker piece because prude-shaming is not any better than slut-shaming in our book) but still something is missing from the conversation.
One thing that is missing is some kind of broader understanding of the limits of transgression as a political program or strategy. Like, the kind of affirmation of difference with emphasis on the self-consciously “freaky” a la Gaga is just as easily and just as completely a vehicle for neoliberalism and consumerism as Smith’s fussily chaste balladry. Judith Butler didn’t really understand that either, so if we’re all just getting caught up, NBD.
As far as ballads go we still much prefer David McAlmont.