Review of In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith
So Sam Smith is big news at the moment. Not least for his presence on social media including G+ and also the first performer to sing live during an ad break on a television broadcast. This buzz is hardly surprising. After all, we put Sam Smith on our Music Eyz Hotlist this year.
Sam Smith first got to the attention of the British music world with his performance on Disclosure track Latch and Naughty Boy‘s La La La. Whilst he stood out on those tracks, there are hundreds of examples of good singers performing on good productions and not really making it. So why is Sam Smith any different?
Well In The Lonely Hour is his debut album and the vocals throughout are strong. Sam Smith shows range and a genuine ability to knock out a decent tune. His talent is undoubted. Sadly, from our perspective, the choice of tracks doesn’t seem to play to his strengths. Yes the content is good. The production is of high quality as you would expect from any pop act with major label backing. But sadly the tracks don’t live up to the expectation we have of Sam Smith.
As mentioned, they are all good tracks with expert performance, but not great. In fact, In The Lonely Hour feels like the label are playing it safe with Sam Smith. Rather than pushing boundaries and helping to set a new level for British male vocals, they have taken the easy route. Now don’t get me wrong, the album is good, the tracks are good and it will sell loads. It just isn’t as great as we know it could be.
Stay With Me, I’ve Told You Now and Not In That Way are the bankers for the label. They will bring in the commercial revenue, with the strong ballad composition. Sadly this one isn’t for us.
The album, could have been strengthened with some guest production credits. Maybe some collaborations would have also lifted it. After backing Sam Smith, this seems a bit of a hypocritical review. His talent is in no doubt, but he needs to get that spark to lift his career from good pop performer to a genuine performer with longevity.