Sam Smith - In the lonely Hour

(CD Album Review)

*****

A really important British singer!

Brit Award winner Samuel Frederick 'Sam' Smith is the name on every ones lips and this is because of his distinctive vocal style and how interesting he makes his tracks which can mix up Soul, Pop and even Drum 'n' Bass and 2-Step Garage. 'In the lonely Hour' is his highly anticipated debut album and follow-up to his extended play EP 'Nirvana'.

I have to say what an album it is, starting off with his brilliant and well received single 'Money on my Mind' Which is the second to be released of the record. This song is lead by a Garage beat and Sam's vocals which are high pitched in moments. Most people would love this track but I can see why some people wouldn't because Sam's tone when he get's going is a love or hate thing, which I have personally come to love. This is a great track to listen to on your Walkman while your out and about and has a great groove to it. 

The second track 'Good Thing' is a track that even Al Green or any Soul legend would be happy to call their own it is slow but has real emotion to it that Sam really brings across well. Like in his new single 'Stay with Me' which is the third track on the album and a really stand out song. This really sounds like a classic Northern Soul track and the feeling is so amazing, it also has almost a Celtic feel half way through showing Sam is not afraid to mix things up. I think this is a song that will go down in history and will not be forgotten. It's a simple little song but it doesn't need anything more than it's got and that is what makes it so good.

'Leave your Lover' is an emotional ballad which has a nice flow to it. It is a traditional Pop love song that is very nice to listen to and again shows off what Sam Smith is best at. 'I'm not the only One' has a Marvin Gaye feel, you can imagine Sam singing 'Dock of the Bay' really well and I like the fact he puts his influences into his music and the quite underlining piano really makes the track. If you like classic Soul material you will absolutely love this song. 'I told you Now' is a cut down track that in places is just very quiet piano and acoustic guitar letting the vocals tell the story of it, this track really needs no more said than this. 

'Like I Can' is slightly more upbeat and almost a Diva Esq. Soul song which Sam really makes his own. I like the whole story telling theme that goes throughout each song on the album and the fact his constant reinventing himself on each track is present but keeping to his own formula. I would love to see someone like Anastasia doing a cover of this song. I think it would really work for her, not that it doesn't work for Sam. 'Life Support' is one of my favourite songs on the album, I really like his change from normal vocals to falsetto vocals. This is a style I have always been keen on and Sam really pulls off well. This song has a lovely melody and you can really feel what he is singing about and can relate to it really well.

'Not in that Way' is a nice quite interlude to the record and leads on nicely to the first single to be released off 'In the lonely Hour' the brilliant 'Lay me Down' a song that kind of brought Sam to the attention of many people in the UK. This song is just a beautiful love ballad, that you just can't help falling in love with'Restart' is the surprise to the album with it's slow down house groove, and 90's feeling chart Soul feel. I really like this song and wonder why it is was so late on the album. I could hear this being played in an Urban club on a Friday night and groove to it, along with Bobby Brown, PM Dawn and even Prince tracks.

I really love this song and would buy the album just to get this track. It even has a little bit of a Luther Vandross feel to it which is great and a 90's sounding break down near the end. The acoustic version of 'Latch' is a nice addition to the album, but it's the radio friendly 'La, La, La' that stands out and makes you want to hit the dance floor. Sam ends the album with 'Make it to Me' another great Soul / Pop ballad and you realise this is an album you must have in your collection if your into Northern Soul and great Pop vocals and their is no wonder why so many people have been waiting for it with baited breath. I will be checking out Sam Smith more in the future. I really loved this album and it's one I must have in my collection.

Review by Dan Devour

Check Out! the Video for 'Stay with Me' Below...

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