In The Lonely Hour (LP)


Sam Smith

BUY
$19.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD , CD

Amoeba Review

06/16/2014

Sam Smith is already a mega star in the UK and rightly so. The 22 year old's voice should be a national treasure, traces of Antony Hegarty's aching tenderness through the filter of silver screen R&B and gospel, hyper-emotional careening from breathy falsetto whispers to a huge diva-tenor not just within the same song but within the same verse. You may have seen his billboards around town or his remarkable performance on Saturday Night Live. The stateside press push seems aggressive, like someone's worried that whatever he's selling, we won't be buying. This seems unlikely. While a small sect of Americans will already have been wondering about the Sam Smith who provided vocals for Disclosure's smash "Latch," the majority of listeners who will discover him for this first time on In The Lonely Hour will find a fairly different character than the one decorating "Latch"'s crystalline swing. The Sam Smith of his solo debut doesn't have the same swagger, opting instead for an emotional confidence, an earnestness that recalls, as I mentioned earlier, an Antony for the Aloe Blacc set or for moms who like Stevie Wonder and who, as we all know, are the true arbiters of good taste. The comparison to Blacc is partially unfair, but it would be remiss to leave the melodic similarities between Smith's "Stay With Me" and Blacc's mega-smash "Wake Me Up." "Stay With Me" is a better song and will likely be one of the best songs of the year, an emotionally huge but relatable-in-its-humanist-minutiae footstomping gospel paean to loving the one you're with when being with one you might really love seems unattainable. The rest of the record is full of pop R&B gems, flirting with electronic textures but staying mostly rooted in traditional band instrumentation. Pianos and guitars are at the heart of every song, unobtrusively supporting lyrical and emotional content of an exceptionally high quality, Smith's voice stepping up to be more than just decoration for the production but actually a vessel for powerful content, really real songs. To be honest, I'm not the target demographic for this record, but it's got me hooked. Is he the heir to hole in the zeitgeist left by Amy Winehouse? I don't know, his style is less nostalgic, more savvy. However, unlike most of the R&B/neo-soul pop revival happening in the Top 40 today, I firmly believe that Smith goes beyond just textural or stylistic posturing. I can't say he's the future to anything but I actually cried like 3 times while reviewing this record and that counts for something.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Money On My Mind
Sam Smith 03:12
2.
Good Thing
Sam Smith 03:21
3.
Stay With Me
Sam Smith 02:52
4.
Leave Your Lover
Sam Smith 03:08
5.
I'm Not The Only One
Sam Smith 03:59


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
I've Told You Now
Sam Smith 03:30
2.
Like I Can
Sam Smith 02:47
3.
Life Support
Sam Smith 02:53
4.
Not In That Way
Sam Smith 02:52
5.
Lay Me Down
Sam Smith 04:13

BUY
$19.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD , CD
x Sign-up for emails, sales alerts & more:


loading...

Register


New customers, create your Amoeba.com account here. Its quick and easy!


Register

Don't want to register? Feel free to make a purchase as a guest!

Checkout as Guest

Currently, we do not allow digital purchases without registration

Close

Register

Become a member of Amoeba.com. It's easy and quick!

All fields required.

An error has occured - see below:

Already have an account? Log in.

Close

Forgot Password






To reset your password, enter your registration e-mail address.




Close

Forgot Username





Enter your registration e-mail address and we'll send you your username.




Close

Amoeba Newsletter Sign Up

Submit
Close