So here's the thing about Sam Smith. He makes really good music. Great music in fact. But a lot of people make great music. What sets the "Stay With Me" singer apart from all the rest is that it comes from the heart EVERY time.
Last night, Smith performed "I'm Not the Only One" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and, though he's a commensurate performer who has his entire set running smoothly, if you look into his eyes, you know that he still feels it. Just because he's sung it about it 8 thousand times so far, that doesn't mean that the pain's gone away. You're emotional because he's emotional. That's what puts Smith head and shoulders above his contemporaries.