By: Kevin Wiyarnanda
British singer, Sam Smith has been widely known from Disclosure’s hit track ‘Latch’ that features his soaring vocal throughout the entire song. With such an amazing set of pipes like his, it was just a matter of time for him to release his own full length album. Smith’s debut album entitled ‘In the Lonely Hour’ is a record with a universal theme that I’m sure everyone can relate to- unrequited love. Described as an album written ‘for lonely people’ by Smith himself, the inspiration for the album came from the singer’s own painful love life. Smith allows his listeners to enter the deepest parts of his life with heartfelt lyrics that are brilliantly written and catchy melodies without being overly corny.
The song, ‘Leave Your Lover’ has a more subtle approach with a very soothing guitar opening that is then perfectly layered with some strings and piano over Smith’s impeccable ability to slide from his chest voice to his head voice effortlessly. As the record progresses, the middle part features less melancholic and more upbeat songs that talk about Smith’s realization of loving someone who’s not worth his time. In ‘Like I Can’, Smith sings to his former love interest saying that there will be no one who would give as much love as Smith. The song has the empowerment feel to it that shouts ‘It’s your loss!’ loudly.
Just when you thought Smith was done singing about his failed attempts with love, he takes you back once again to an even deeper part of his pain, with more tear-jerking tunes like ‘Not In That Way’ that just cuts right through the heart. The song is the true representation of unrequited love. Every single line in the song is just spot on. Flashbacks of those memories from the last unrequited love you had will definitely come back to your head because of the extremely hurtful atmosphere created by the simple guitar plucking throughout the song with Smith’s raw vocal talent.
Following that track, the album version of ‘Lay Me Down’ sounds more stripped down and more appropriate compared to the previously released version, which was more up-tempo and sounded rather rushed. The song showcases a lot of Smith’s vocal ability with perfectly executed melismas in the chorus and solid belts throughout the song.
The deluxe version of the album features an upbeat track called ‘Restart’ that will make you want to dance to the beat of the song about how Smith is so over with his previous love story, a perfect fit to wrap up the singer’s melancholic life chapter. Smith’s previous collaborations were also added to the deluxe version of the album, however, the definite standout has to be his acoustic rendition of the smash hit ‘Latch’ which sounds way more intimate and heartfelt than the original version with Disclosure.
'In the Lonely Hour' is the epitome of unrequited love, heart-wrenching, brilliantly written and perfectly-produced. A stellar debut album to kick-off Smith’s career in the industry that sets him apart from other male vocalists in the music scene with his distinguishable soulful voice. The solid release gives Smith a great ‘first impression’ to music lovers alike, proving that there is indeed someone who can bring class while singing the blues about the very much relatable topic that is unrequited love.
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LTLtalk is an entertainment blog that is part of LTLmagazine.