In recording artist Sam Smith’s most recent album, blues, R&B and soul meet demanding vocals and create the sound that is In the Lonely Hour. In his second record, the UK artist came back with an impressive 10-track album.
The album, released in the United States on June 17, features heart-wrenching ballads, fast-paced jams and tracks laced with an undeniable catharsis of love.
Coming back after his first album, Nirvana EP, Smith shows off his real talent in In the Lonely Hour which is the real debut of his capability and diversity of sound.
Though the lyrics hold exceptional insight about every facet of a love lost and rising bitterness, the songs leave an emotionally distant feeling via mechanically repetitive sound and clearly processed piano and percussion beats.
Think of a voice like Bruno Mars meets Tank with the vocal range of Adele with words that haunt better than the best poets.
In the slow ballad about a cheating partner, Smith takes a step back from the situation in I’m Not The Only One singing along to the I-told-you-so sound, “You say I’m crazy/ ‘Cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done/ But when you call me baby/ I know I’m not the only one.”
Also, deep in the album is I’ve Told You Now beginning with his realization of what it’s like, whatever “it” is. “You know what I mean/ It’s like walking in the heat all day with no water/ It’s like waiting for a friend/ Watching everybody else meet theirs on that corner.”
The words ring clear in front of an almost quiet guitar in the background leading into the catchy percussion based chorus. Despite the processed feel, the album is has a clean sound and is an enjoyable record.
Independent of a consistent band or the same instruments, Smith’s vocals will stand the test of whatever in-studio production changes are made, and that’s abundantly clear with his latest work, In The Lonely Hour.