May 29, 2014 at 8:19 am #399573
I’m so here for Sam Smith’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, set for US release on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, as well for his future Grammy slaying next year.
Let’s get the ball rolling for him here and discuss his new album (already out for our UK posters), released singles, collaborations, Grammy chances, performances, tour dates, and other related news.
May 29, 2014 at 8:24 am #399575
soul singer Sam Smith comes out
Bryan Mansfield, USA TODAY 9:25 a.m. EDT May 29, 2014
If you watched Sam Smith’s video for his new single “Leave
Your Lover” and couldn’t figure out which member of the love triangle the
British soul singer found more desirable, he wants you to know—it was the guy.
Smith tells Fader
magazine his forthcoming In the Lonely
Hour album “is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he
didn’t love me back.” But if songs like “Leave Your Lover” and his hit “Stay
With Me” make you think fondly of farm animals, he’d like you to know he’s OK
with that. “I’ve made my music so that it could be about anything and
everybody—whether it’s a guy, a female, or a goat—and everybody can relate to
that,” he says.
Smith, who also is featured vocalist on Disclosure’s “Latch”
and Naughty Boy’s “La La La,” kicks off a 15-city North American tour Sept. 15
in Boston and will play the Austin City Limits music festival in October.
May 29, 2014 at 9:30 am #399576
Love Sam Smith, discovered him a day before his SNL debut and was hooked on the “Nirvana” EP. I think his acoustic version of Latch is the most beautiful music I’ve heard in quite some time. I’ve been anxiously waiting “In The Lonely Hour,” and it doesn’t disappoint. I’ve downloaded it, but plan on buying it when it becomes available in the US. It doesn’t disappoint. Lyrically, it could be a little stronger, but the songs are entirely relatable for anyone who has loved someone who hasn’t loved them back. I’ll say this and let others come to their decisions individually: Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” is for unrequited love what Adele’s “21” was for breakups. At least, that is, for this generation.
As for future singles, since it appears he’ll be making some kind of a US push, “Stay With Me” will work for the rest of the summer and I think it could be a sleeper hit (it’s about to climb back into the top ten on iTunes). I think “Good Thing,” “I’m Not the Only One,” and especially “Like I Can” could be radio singles. The latter is the most radio-friendly, I think.
Some additional notes: the versions of “Lay Me Down” and “Latch (Acoustic)” on this album are NOT the same versions as previously released, which is nice to see that he’s not rehashing these songs again. I prefer the album version of “Lay Me Down” to the single (although the acoustic, like he performed on SNL, reigns supreme for me), but I like the “Nirvana” version of “Latch (Acoustic)” better. Also, “Reminds Me of You” is a bonus track but only in the UK. US fans, get your hands on this song. It’s one of my favorites on the album.
Overall, I see very good things for Sam Smith’s future, and his Grammy prospects are bright, but he’ll need to maintain buzz until the fall to make sure he stays there. I think he can get BNA and maybe SOTY, but AOTY is an outside shot. Then again, it’s not a very strong year, so if he really blows up, it’s possible. Whatever the case, he’s got me excited for more, and in the meantime, “In The Lonely Hour” will be on repeat for a while.May 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm #399577
I am loving this kid’s songs. He is SOOO talented for being so young. I am just praying to God… or nature… or Buddha (I haven’t really figured all that ish out yet) that his coming out doesn’t hurt him. #humanprideMay 30, 2014 at 5:43 am #399578
The album is SO good. It’s so relatable for so many people, and the songs are super catchy and well-written. And man, does he have the pipes. I’m glad he’s being clever with the theme of this album, while acknowledging that he was in love with a man who didn’t love him back, he also is saying that the core theme of this album is so broadly relatable.
I see a long, bright future for this kid, and all I can do is smile. I look forward to seeing him all over the Grammy nominations this December.May 30, 2014 at 6:42 am #399579
I am actually am just starting to really like “La La La.” The first couple of times I heard it on the radio, the only thing that stuck was the La La La chorus, which I thought was kind of annoying. However, once I actually listened to the song and what it is really about, I was rather surprised. His voice sounds great. The video is pretty good as well.June 4, 2014 at 8:02 pm #399580
His tour is sold out in the UK.June 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm #399581
I just realized his and lana del rey’s album come out on the same day. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.June 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm #399582
This dude’s voice is unreal! I am pleased to see that the uk has really embraced him, hopefully north america will follow suit (106,000 downloads of “stay with me” were sold this week ). More. More!June 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm #399583
I really think between the Sam Smith album, and Beyonce’s, we have our Album of the Year winner. “In The Lonely Hour” reminds of Adele’s 21, with love ballads that everyone can relate to, and up-tempo songs that stay in your head. “Like I Can” has the potential to be the song of the summer – can’t stop listening. Really love every track and I’ll be shocked if Smith isn’t recognized in all 4 major Grammy categories…June 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm #399584
^ completely agree. He’s blowing up and I absolutely love it!June 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm #399585
Wide release for “In the Lonely Hour” is today.June 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm #399586
Rolling Stone’s review:
In the Lonely Hour
by Caryn Ganz
June 17, 2014
Where do lonely hearts go? British singer Sam Smith, 21, has written a dissertation on the question with his debut LP. Smith–a gifted blue-eyed-soulster with Barry Gibb’s flexible falsetto and Mark Ronson’s ear for throwback grooves–got noticed last year for his vocals on house duo Disclosure’s slow jam “Latch.” With In the Lonely Hour‘s orchestral flourishes and focus on a single unrealized affair, it seems the baby-faced singer is being positioned as a male Adele. But while the album flirts with a few radiant moments, Smith’s endless yearning isn’t wrapped in as many irresistible packages.
He rolls deepest on the gospel-powered “Stay With Me”–a spare track with a simple arrangement that matches its bare plea–and “Like I Can,” a blissful groove that packs a Seventies rock-radio punch. Elsewhere, though he reaches for his upper register with the same eagerness that he grasps for love, his emo hopelessness is a flood drowning everything in sight. The album’s team of producers gives Smith a mostly blank canvas to showcase his vocals, providing room for soaring riffs over fingerpicked guitars on “Not in That Way” and “Leave Your Lover.” But neither leaves as indelible a mark as Smith’s lost love has left on his heart.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/in-the-lonely-hour-20140617#ixzz34xKUKEnS
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on FacebookJune 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm #399587
All Music Guide:
IN THE LONELY HOUR
Review by Andy Kellman
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.June 19, 2014 at 9:11 am #399588
In the Lonely Hour
by Sal Cinquemani ON June 18, 2014
Twenty-two-year-old singer-songwriter Sam Smith has been favorably compared to fellow U.K. tragedian Adele, and with good reason: Both artists trade in the blue-eyed balladry of lovers scorned with strikingly emotional nakedness. But Antony Hegarty would be a more apt parallel: Both Smith and Hegarty identify as LGBT, and both have moonlighted as vocalists for house acts (lending their falsettos to Disclosure’s hit “Latch” and Hercules and Love Affair’s much-celebrated debut, respectively). Still, it’s hard not to compare Smith’s first solo effort to Adele’s 21. In the Lonely Hour isn’t a breakup album, per se, since it’s unclear whether the object of Smith’s affections and regret ever reciprocated his feelings, or if the relationship was even consummated. That latter notion is a particularly fascinating one, as it one-ups Adele’s attempt to get over an ex by posing a perhaps even more impossible query: How do you get over something you never had?
Tying this question to Smith’s sexuality is inevitable, but the fact that the singer has come out of the closet so hot on the heels of his mainstream pop success is ultimately more revolutionary than the songs themselves, which avoid the use of masculine personal pronouns and largely stick to middle-of-the-road R&B arrangements. Though Smith lays his cards on the table on the very first song, “Money on My Mind,” claiming he makes music not for money, but “for the love,” it’s no surprise that, with the exception of “Life Support,” the track’s skittering garage beats are henceforth shelved in favor of languorous downers with plodding loops and morose tales of unrequited love.
Thankfully, the songs are mercifully short. Just when you’ve started to grow weary of Smith’s pity party, it’s over. And there are enough moments of genuine musical, lyrical, and vocal virtuosity and soul to crack even the most hardened listener’s icy heart. After whimpering first verses, the gospel-inflected “Stay with Me” and “Lay Me Down” are saved by their heartbreaking, rousing hooks—and, of course, that voice. “I had a dream I was mugged outside your house,” Smith croons on the standout “Good Thing,” his fantasy of being rescued highlighting the Hollywood-propagated fiction about “falling” in love. “I watch where I tread before I fall,” he sings, the final word punctuated by an orchestral swell straight out of a Technicolor movie musical. It’s proof that despite the forward march of progress, and with gays as visible as ever, there will always be hearts burdened by love that lives in the shadows.
Label: Capitol; Release Date: June 17, 2014
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