If Sam Smith was feeling lonely in writing this album, lonely he is no more. The man of the moment is on to big things having earnt himself three consecutive UK number ones and within a few days, already has a sold out tour in North America. Listening to ‘In the Lonely Hour‘ we can see why!
At the first listen, opening track ‘Money On My Mind‘ comes across slightly whiny but this only makes the chorus that more memorable. His effortless vocals in the verses justify why the song reached that prestigious top spot on the charts. The softly sung ‘Good Thing‘ follows, Smith feeling undeserving of a partner in which the honesty draws you in from the start.
‘Stay with Me‘ is one of the album’s special moments, Smith’s voice is full of soul as he chants of his unrequited love, the album’s predominant theme. With the aid of the gospel choir accompanying him towards the end, the song is totally deserving of reaching the US top ten. The only problem is that it ends before the three minute mark! Latest single ‘Leave Your Lover‘ is a piano ballad full of sincerity, despite the singer asking his beloved to leave their lover (as the title suggests) so he can keep his “beating heart at bay“.
Midway through the album ‘I’m Not The Only One’ offers a bluesy feel. Although the lyrics concentrate on an unfaithful lover, the rhythmic tune urges you to clap along rather than dwell on the sadness of the story. ‘I’ve Told You Now‘ showcases Smith’s vocals at their finest, he spits his words out, wanting to be heard by his significant other.
Although lyrically similar to ‘Leave Your Lover‘ seventh song ‘Like I Can‘ accelerates the pace of the album but comes across as being rushed. Just falling short of three minutes, you’re left wanting that little bit more. Smith puts everything on the line with ‘Life Support‘, appreciative that he has his beloved to keep him sane. His high notes are literally unreachable to the average man, leaving you with your jaw dropped.
In penultimate track ‘Not in That Way‘, the minimal background music puts Sam’s vocals in the spotlight, yet the song itself blurs with what we’ve already heard. After the album’s played, you may be left wondering, what was that song again? ‘Lay Me Down‘ however, brings the album to a close, the songwriting giving off a similar vibe to Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars‘. It’s hard not to smile with Sam’s lucid devotion and dedication.
Although ‘In the Lonely Hour‘ is heavily concerned with the theme of unrequited love, if ‘Stay With Me‘ and ‘I’m Not The Only One‘ are anything to go by, we’re anticipating what will come next for the rising star. From Smith’s previous collaborations with Naughty Boy and Disclosure, we know this man is not just a one-hit wonder, and hopefully will bring a lot more to the table with that all important second album.