Where do we begin a review of Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour? Well, for starters, it's very clear that people enjoy music and content that makes them depressed. We saw it with Adele a few years back; we were all singing Someone Like You to our friends and family and finding ways to make ourselves even more sad than we usually are. Adele gave us a break after 2011/12 (Although she's on her way back, her new album is ready!) and Sam Smith has decided to fill the void with his debut album In the Lonely Hour. Quite frankly, it's amazing- but it also makes for some very, very sad listening!
We spoke to a friend of ours who is a big Sam Smith fan and she had this to say about him,
"He's gone through a lot. He battled with depression after the breakup with his lover, but he really put his heart and soul in this album"
And my, did he really put his heart and soul into it. In The Lonely Hour tells the story of Sam and his previous lover who leaves him very early on in the album. The tracks revolve around the typical stages of grief one experiences after a break up: denial (In the track, Stay With Me), anger (A bit of a long shot, but the track Good Thing has some angry realisations particularly with the line, "I've made a decision, not to answer your calls") bargaining (Leave Your Lover - the track name says it all really) before grief sets in (Lay Me Down) and finally Sam accepts his fate in the album's closer (Make it to Me).
Tinie Tempah said it earlier this week, we live in a digital era where streaming individual tracks is more popular than listening to a track from start to finish. Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour is one of the few exceptions in modern music; this is an album that you can play on repeat every day of the week and while it may tug at your heart strings and invite a few tears, it's worth listening to daily.
Sam's delightful, soulful vocals guide you through his emotional journey and are perfectly accompanied by some amazing musical melodies. From enchanting orchestral breaks in Good Thing to the choral backings in tracks such as Stay With Me and Lay Me Down, the musical chemistry in this album blends amazingly with Sam's lyrical talents and his obviously brilliant voice.
The album is a great escape for those who aren't feeling sad at the very moment. Music is supposed to move you and in 47 minutes, Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour moved us too many times for us to remember. He's one of the most talented singers on the scene at the moment and it's no surprise to see him on the charts with tracks such as Money on my Mind and Stay With Me. We won't say he has a mainstream sound, but the mainstream appeal on the album could see any of the titles on the track list become successful singles.
In the Lonely Hour has to be one of (If not, THE) best mainstream albums to release this year (Yes, even better than Coldplay's Ghost Stories and ever so slightly better than Ed Sheeran's x)
Get your hands on it- you won't be disappointed!