In the Lonely Hourby Sam Smith
Disclosure's loping dance-pop single "Latch," a number 11 U.K. hit in 2012, introduced Sam Smith, a London-born vocalist with a deeply emotive voice. Smith grew up listening to R&B giants Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, and Whitney Houston, but his first impression was unique, not merely for the richness of his voice, but its resoundingly expressive yet naturally delivered manner -- on a level most singers can't match with maximum effort. Early 2013 brought his debut solo single, "Lay Me Down" -- an aching singer/songwriter-soul throwback that scraped the U.K. Top 50. It was quickly eclipsed by a lead role on Naughty Boy's "La La La," a breakbeat-driven tearjerker that went to number one in the U.K. and then reached the Top 20 in the U.S. "Money on My Mind," an upbeat statement of purpose more about the soul than the heart, and "Stay with Me," a torch song with a gospel-inspired chorus, were Smith's second and third solo singles. They preceded the release of In the Lonely Hour, the singer and songwriter's debut album. Those three solo singles are here, along with seven new songs that tend to cast Smith as a heartbroken balladeer. Deep sorrow informs most of the material. Much more about mourning than movement here, Smith is bold for not attempting to capitalize on the Disclosure and Naughty Boy hits. The dominance of stripped-down backdrops -- some with merely piano, acoustic guitar, and conservative strings -- is somewhat surprising. That puts all the more focus on Smith's voice and words, the latter of which switch between borderline maudlin ("What use is money when you need someone to hold?") and disarmingly brazen ("Just leave your lover, leave him for me"). If Smith didn't have such a remarkable voice, he could stay busy composing songs for artists in several genres; the anthemic "Like I Can" could be easily adapted for a contemporary country singer, while a few others could be turned over to young pop artists in need of material that makes them sound more human. This is an understated and promising first step from an unpredictable and distinctive talent.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsSam Smith Primary Artist,Vocals
Steve Fitzmaurice Drums
Earl Harvin Percussion,Drums
Everton Nelson Leader
Fraser T. Smith Guitar
Eg White Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Strings,Cymbals,Background Vocals
Jodi Milliner Bass Guitar
Ben Thomas Guitar
Matt Prime Keyboards
Darren Heelis Keyboards
William Phillips Organ,Piano
Jimmy Napes Percussion,Drums
Reuben James Organ,Piano
Charles Wong Piano
Technical CreditsSteve Fitzmaurice Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Vocal Engineer,Additional Production
Simon Hale String Arrangements,String Conductor
Elvin Smith Composer
James Murray Programming
Fraser T. Smith Composer,Producer
Eg White Composer,Producer,Engineer
Simon Aldred Composer
Matt Prime Composer
Darren Heelis Programming,Engineer,Vocal Engineer
William Phillips Composer
Sam Smith Composer
Jimmy Napes Producer,Engineer
James Napier Composer
Mustafa Omer Programming
Ben Ash Composer
Two Inch Punch Arranger,Producer,drum programming,Instrumentation
Mojam drum programming,Additional Production
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I just love this CD. The song I'm Not The Only One is an instant classic, and I love Sam Smith's range. He is the best thing to happen to music in a long time!
I like Sam Smith, he is the best entertainer in the USA. Britain raised the best.
I don't generally listen to pop music but flipping stations one day, I heard this amazing voice and had to continue listening. I instantly knew I had to find out who was singing "Stay With Me"!! I looked the song up online and found Sam Smith was the amazing voice!! I bought the CD and quickly fell in love with all of the other songs!!!!Again, being a country music fan, I will have to trust that any further music by Sam Smith will be just as fantastic.
I'm in my mature years and yes I love Frank Sinatra, but I also recognize Adele's talent and now Sam Smith. This CD is destined to be enjoyed by various age groups due to this young mans' delivery and the sophisticated arrangements of the soulful ballads. The dance worthy La La is rhythmic but meaningful. This is definitely an accolade worthy debut CD by a talented young singer/songwriter.