The Thrill of it All (Capitol)
It’s hard to be thrilled when exposed to Smith’s latest exercise in ticking all the boxes. His songs are precisiontooled to appeal to a mass market and very little that’s interesting and innovative has survived. His soulful voice — always a special instrument — sounds fine and dandy here, but the relationship-gone-to-pot songs rarely stray above the pedestrian. Even the presence of such alchemists as Timbaland fail to rustle up the requisite magic.