What You Need To Know - May 27, 2014

Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour: What You Need To Know
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour: What You Need To Know

What’s the background?

Having first surfaced at the back end of 2012 as a guest vocalist on Disclosure’s ‘Latch’, Sam Smith has spent the 18 months since then on a steady upward trajectory, having featured on Naughty Boy’s chart-topping single ‘La La La’ and released three singles of his own, with two of them going straight to No.1 in the UK Singles Chart.

In that time he’s also topped the BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll as well as taking home the BRIT Critic’s Choice award for this year. Now this promising young artist is releasing his debut LP, In The Lonely Hour, which hit the shelves in the UK this week.

Who’s producing it?

The majority of the production duties are being handled by James Napier and Steve Fitzmaurice, the latter having worked on records by the likes of Depeche Mode, Kylie Minogue and U2, while elsewhere there are also production credits for Eg White, Two Inch Punch’s Ben Ash and Fraser T. Smith, who has been working on the upcoming album from Example.

Any special guests?

Not this time around it seems. Having made his name as a guest vocalist Smith has chosen, perhaps wisely, to keep In The Lonely Hour to himself as he establishes his own identity.

In The Lonely Hour
In The Lonely Hour Sam Smith

What are the standout tracks?

Single ‘Money on my Mind’ is one the album’s highlights with its distinctive vocal hook, while ‘Stay With Me’ shares more than a little ground with Emelie Sande’s gospel-drenched ‘Next To Me.’ Upcoming single ‘Leave Your Lover’ offers a platform for Smith’s impressive vocal range and is a melancholy tale of unrequited love, something of a lyrical theme on his debut LP. Other worthwhile mentions are the slow, soulful stomp of ‘I’m Not the Only One’ and the uplifting euphoria of ‘Like I Can’, one of the rare upbeat tracks on the album.

Does it deliver?

It’s always difficult to know what to expect from an artist’s debut when they’ve made a name for themselves featuring on the music of others. If you enjoyed his appearances on the tracks by Disclosure and Naughty Boy you might be forgiven for expecting an album with more than a few dancefloor bangers, but In The Loney Hour is, overall, a pretty melancholy affair, at least lyrically speaking.

It’s fair to say though that Smith is a talented young artist with a promising career ahead of him and his vocals on the album are, in places, pretty spectacular. Two No.1 singles from a debut album is a decent return for any artist and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a third when ‘Leave Your Lover’ is released in a few weeks.

In the Lonely Hour is a good solid debut but you do get the feeling there’s more to come from the young artist who is still hitting his stride as a songwriter, but if his debut is anything to go by the his future looks very bright indeed.

In The Lonely Hour is available in hmv stores and from our download store now

Sam Smith - Behind the Scenes clip

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