Album Review- Sam Smith; “In the Lonely Hour”


sam smith

Relative newcomer Sam Smith has been issuing his status as a talented artist since his first appearance on Disclosure’s single “Latch” in 2012. His success has only continued and heightened since then with his recent victories in this year’s Grammy Awards. His success can be chiefly attributed to his debut studio album “In the Lonely Hour” which was release on May 26th of last year; through record labels Capitol and Method. The album features a number of the artist’s hit songs such as “Money On My Mind,” “Stay with Me” and “I’m not the Only One.”

The collection is characterised by key themes of relationships, love, heartbreak and sorrow; apparently inspired by Smith’s own experiences and anchored by the text’s melancholic title. The artist takes us through his journey from his longing for his love-interest to “Leave [his] Lover” and “Stay with [him]” to his heartbreak displayed in “I know I’m not the only one” and “Not in that Way” and his strengthening and rejuvenation in the song “Restart.”

Throughout the album the artist delivers a sense of true feeling with every song; encompassing the album with realism and truth. When taking a close look at the lyrics of songs such as “Restart” and “I know I’m not the Only One,” in combination with the passion enveloped into Smith’s voice, listeners are provided with a true insight into thee artist’s feelings. This provides the text with heartfelt expression and meaningfulness; features which tend to lack in contemporary music

The song arrangement of the album effectively satisfies the emotions and moods that are typically desired from audiences; with there being a consistent shift between soft and slow songs to stronger and more fast pace pieces. The album is also characterised by a mellow tone and Smith effectively displays his vocal range throughout. Additionally, the album features numbers with instruments such as the drums and guitar being used; however Smith issues his rhymatic and vocal talents through not simply relying upon these instruments; they follow his lead instead of the alternative.

The artist also offers lovers of his hit single with Disclosure, “Latch” with a new take on the song by presenting an acoustic version. This number once again displays the Smith’s vocal range, talent and creativity.

A notable aspect of the album is the lack of featuring artists. This may be a negative in some opinions however it can be more chiefly seen as a positive; as unlike a great deal of contemporary artists (such as DJ Khaled, who is known for having up to ten artists in one song) Smith provides a collection that is solely focused upon himself, his experiences and his talent. The album is solely and truly Sam Smith.

Finally, the album, since its 2014 release has brought Smith a number of credentials such as being the “only artist to sell more than one million albums in both the UK and the US,” as stated by the BBC and also receiving the award for “Best Pop Vocal Album” at this year’s Grammy Awards.

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Fresh talent Mic Lowry to serenade viewers at The Institute



Up-and-coming boy group, Mic Lowry, are set to deliver a soulful performance in Birmingham on the 27th of next month. The show will be apart of the group’s first ever UK headlining tour which kicks off with their already sold out show in London.

Group members Ben Sharples, Kaine Ofoeme, Akia Jones, Delleile Ankrah and Michael Welch differentiate themselves with their own unique style, which they describe as “souly R&B.” The boys’ ages range from 18-19 years of age, however this does not limit the group’s music to that of contemporary or mainstream music trends. The quintet’s crisp harmonising and soulful tones can be likened to that of established musicians such as Usher, New Edition and Boys II Men; who the group actually opened for in their recent 2014 UK tour.

The band’s name Mic Lowry is inspired by Michael Bay’s character Mike Lowry, from the 1995 film Bad Boys. By adding a musical twist to this character’s name the group liken the character’s swarve, heart-melting and entertaining features to their music and their demeanours as musicians.

The group’s popularity is continuously rising through their achievements such as being runners up in MTV’s 2013 Brand New Unsigned Competition, winning the 2013 national Under 19 Rock the House Competition, and gaining worldwide recognition for their involvement in the US channel BET’s Music Matters scheme.

The show, which will take place at one of Birmingham’s most popular music venues, The Institute, will provide locals with the opportunity to witness and experience the group’s unique and captivating talent. The performance will consist of a number of songs including the band’s hit single “Heart of Yours.”

Tickets are available through The Institute’s online website and on

By Tyeish Liburd.

(images taken from

5 Useful things you that didn’t get taught at school


During our time in secondary school, we are taught a number of things that are drilled into our heads as being beneficial and key to adult lives. However here are 5 things that are not included in current curriculums which would probably be more suitable and helpful in the future than learning the value of Pi:

  1. Basic Money Management- Managing finances is a vital part of adult life. Making the correct financial decisions can aid in issues such as mortgage, pension, insurance and a number of day-to-day expenses.6736170827_3b8b51b12e_b
  1. Job applications and interview techniques- Completing job applications and interviews can often be a nerve racking experience for people of any age; including lessons and activities which inform and help young people about applying for jobs will prepare them for future employment endeavours. Furthermore, with the average legal working age being 16 years old, including this into secondary school curriculum will provide young people with the information they need at just the right time.


  1. Healthy Lifestyles- Emotional and physical well-being are important to individuals of all age groups. By providing young people with information concerning issues such as healthy eating and exercising, they learn lessons which will be beneficial to them throughout their lives.9262225451_a64b196bf2_b
  1. Taxes- A number of working individuals do not possess an adequate understanding of current tax conditions. By understanding issues concerning taxes young people would be more aware of their financial circumstances and also be able to flag any mistakes in their income.


  1. Voting Information- Most secondary school only briefly touch upon issues concerning politics. This leads to a number of young people being blissfully unaware of current politics and the role that they could possible play in the future. By presenting youths with the significance of voting and familiarising them with the different political parties, young people would have a more suitable amount of information by the time they reach the legal age of voting.